11 Ways to Support the Foster Care System

One thing that I have heard from people is, “I could never do that” when it comes to being a foster parent.  The truth is, I can’t either. Not in my own strength. Being a foster parent has pointed me to Jesus and has pointed out my flaws in more ways that I would care to admit. I want to be selfish and have my own time. I don’t like living in a state of mind wondering if the case worker is going to stop by and do an unannounced visit.

Lets all raise our hands. We could never do that.

But here I am. And here you are. And the need is great.

And scripture.

Oh, how the Word of God just draws His people to caring for the needs of the orphans. How quickly we want to dismiss it, and say, “I’m not really called to that.” Since we are all friends here, can I challenge that a bit? I think you are called. I think we are all called. I do not think it is a matter of IF we are called, but HOW are we called.

Not everyone is called to be a foster home, or to adopt children, but as believers in the Bible and followers of Jesus we are called to do SOMETHING. SOMETHING. So what if you are not called to open your home? How can follow the call to care for orphans?

Here is a list of some practical ways you can make a difference in

the foster care system:

  • PRAY. For real. Ask foster parents how you can pray. Ask social workers how you can pray.
  • Provide meals to foster parents.

  • Provide material needs to foster parents for their placements (diapers, clothes, etc.)
  • Offer to babysit—OFTEN:)

  • Don't ask foster parents the "story" on the kids in their care. It isn't their story to share.
  • Provide overnight bags. A lot of kids enter the system by throwing a few of their things in trash bags. An overnight bag would give them dignity and allow them to have something of their own.

  • Transportation. Foster parents end up doing a lot of transporting each week- parent visits, various doctor appointments and therapies, visits with lawyers, case workers, etc.
  • Help to provide memories for children in foster care: Birthday gifts, birthday parties, Christmas gifts and parties, tickets to amusement parks, sponsor them in sporting events, etc. What did you like as a kid? What did your kids enjoy? Children in foster care are no different.

  • Build relationships with children in foster care. Tutor them, coach them, love them.
  • Become a respite care provider or shelter care provider. Maybe you cannot open your home full time, but you could help out over night if a need arises.

  • Do not ask a foster parent, "Are you going to keep him/her/them?" They don't know, and it really does not matter.

 

Foster parents—what are some other ways that have been super helpful for you?

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