10 Ways to Support a Foster Family

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If we’re going to provide a loving home for every child in foster care, we will need hundreds of families to open their homes to vulnerable children. This is no small ask. With national statistics suggesting that half of all foster families quit after the first year, it’s clear that foster parenting is difficult. That’s why we’re working hard to make sure every child in foster care is welcomed into a loving Foster Family who is surrounded by a team of Support Friends. We believe that a committed, supportive community can make all the difference. In fact, an organization with a similar model of care has seen a dramatic shift in this area: nearly 95% of families with a support team continue to foster after the first year.

Something as simple as a monthly meal or weekly encouraging text can make all the difference. Check out this awesome list of ways to support a Foster Family, compiled by Tammy and Don P., two wonderful Foster the Bay Support Friends:

10 Ways to Help a Foster Family

  1. Offer to pick up a few items on your next grocery run.

  2. Prepare a meal or order a meal delivery.

  3. Help with housework - fold laundry, do dishes, sweep the floors, etc…

  4. Check off items on their “to-do” list - replace lightbulbs, complete simple home maintenance tasks, take their vehicle to get an oil change, etc…

  5. Deliver a “snack stash.” (Kids eat A TON! Find out the kids’ favorite snack items, and stock the family’s snack cabinet.)

  6. Host a meal or a play date at your home.

  7. Help with transportation needs.

  8. Encourage the family - send a text or a card, be available to listen when they need to talk.

  9. Provide childcare while the foster parents go on a date.

  10. Become licensed as a Respite Care Provider. (A respite care provider is someone who is approved by the County to care for the children for longer than 24 hours.)

Here’s what Tammy and Don shared with us about being Support Friends:

“Foster the Bay has given us an opportunity to help foster children, even if we can’t currently foster a child.  We love the idea that we can be Support Friends for a Foster Family.  Providing them with meals, items they need, babysitting or just being an encouraging voice on their journey.  God calls us to take care of orphans, James 1:27 says ‘Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.’ Reminding us not to let the world’s problems and priorities take priority over what we should be doing for others.”

Tammy and Don, thank you for sharing this with our Foster the Bay community. To all the Support Friends who have partnered with us in this mission, thank you! We are so grateful for the impact you are making in your community!

If you’d like to learn more about becoming a Support Friend, visit fosterthebay.org/getinvolved and register for an upcoming Interest Meeting. We’d love to help you take the next step!

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