10 Ways to Support Foster Care Families
In 1988, President Ronald Reagan issued the first proclamation declaring May as National Foster Care Month. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, there are over 440,000 children in the United States in foster care with over 250,000 new children entering the system each year since 2013. In addition, over 120,000 children in the system are waiting to be adopted.
While becoming a foster family isn’t the solution for everyone, Focus on the Family offers a few things all of us can do to be a blessing for those who volunteer and the children who so desperately need to be loved.
“The most essential support you can offer is prayer,” said Linda Riley in an article for Focus on the Family. “These children will need prayer long after they’ve been adopted, moved to another placement or returned to their original families. Pray for, love and help foster families, and you can make a difference in a child’s future.”
2. Be a friend with a listening ear.
3. Make a meal.
4. Offer babysitting.
5. Purchase clothing or toys.
“Children often arrive in their new home with little clothing or belongings,” wrote Riley. “You can easily learn the child’s sizes and ask for outgrown clothing from other families who have children a size or two larger.”
6. Assist with laundry.
7. Teach a foster child a new skill like baking or fishing.
8. Allow your own kids to befriend foster children.
“It can be painful for foster families when others shy away from allowing their kids to befriend the foster children,” said Riley.
9. Share your observations for support and encouragement, especially when you witness positive behavior.
10. Avoid judgment and be abounding in grace.