Foster care is an important way for families to help care for vulnerable children in their community. At any given time, there are thousands of children in the United States foster care system waiting for their forever family. There are also thousands of families who have committed their hearts and resources to being foster parents. Very likely, someone in your own neighborhood is a foster parent! Here are 5 practical ways to help support these families:
1. Gather Supplies
As any parent knows, a new addition to a family involves some specific gear. See if you have car seats, toys or clothes to lend to a family who is fostering. Many times, a child is quickly placed with a foster family – they may be awaiting adoption or reunification with their birth families. Regardless, the fostering family may need some extra help gathering the appropriate supplies to care for these children. See what you have or what you can gather for these families.
2. Organize Play Dates
Check with the family first, but there are many opportunities to show up and be supportive. If you have children around the same ages, see about arranging play dates! This gives the children time to play and also allows the foster parents some adult company.
3. Provide Respite Care
If the option is available in your state, look into the process of becoming a respite care provider for foster families in your community. This will give foster parents an opportunity to rest and re-charge.
4. Bring a Meal
As with many busy families, finding time to cook and clean can be difficult. Check with a foster family to find out what they like to eat, when they typically eat dinner, and bring them something that they can all enjoy! This frees the family up for some quality time with each other.
Prayer is a vital component to supporting foster families. A great way to do this is by checking in with the family regularly and praying specifically for the needs they share with you. Place prayer reminders on your refrigerator, mirror, in the car, or wherever you look most often. Invite others to pray with you also!
As you begin to look for ways to support foster families in your community, be sure to connect with us to learn more about how to restore hope to orphans in distress. We are always eager to partner with individuals and families who aim to make God’s call to care for orphans a reality!