Foster parents and their families make a significant commitment to help children who need a home. Their home will undoubtedly experience some upheaval. Afterall, they are walking with a child during a very challenging time. They open their doors to trauma and hurt, hopeful that the stability and security they offer makes a difference. And it does.
How can you support a foster family, a family who has made their home a mission field?
- Be Encouraging
Like any challenging situation, it can sometimes be difficult to find the right words. What do you say? What is appropriate to ask? You may want to side step questions and comments like the ones in this blog. However, you can’t go wrong with encouragement! Let them know they are doing a good job!
- Check-In Often
Don’t wait for the family to come to you with a need. They may not have the time or energy to ask! Proactively check in, offering support. The more time you spend checking in, the more likely you are to stumble upon a need that they have that you can potentially fill.
- Show Up
The daily routine can be a challenge! Show up and be a part of the little things that may seem insignificant. Spend a few extra minutes chatting at the bus stop. Initiate a carpool. Drop off a meal. The small stuff matters.
- Offer Rest
We all need rest from time to time. Rest for foster parents is called respite. You can offer a respite by caring for another family’s foster children. Training is required before you take on this role, but by becoming certified as a respite care provider, you are fulfilling a very real need.
- Be a CASA
In CASA’s role advocating for children who have experienced abuse and neglect, CASA volunteers are often serving children living in foster homes. These volunteers visit foster families, spend time with the children, and get a good feel for what is needed to make the child’s placement successful. They use their interactions and observations to speak up for the child’s needs not only in court, but also within the foster care system.