“If it’s not too much trouble for you… “
– all foster parents
Imagine going from 2 to 4 children overnight. Or from 5 kiddos to 8 between lunch and dinner time.
This is what many of our foster parents experience every day. They wake up in the morning completely unaware that later that day, they will say “yes” to a placement call, expanding their family by bedtime with little notice or preparation. True, they signed up for this. These situations are ones they have agreed to with every licensing paperwork completion, but it doesn’t make each addition, however temporary, any less of an adjustment.
Any small kindness you can provide throughout a placement makes the transition that much smoother for everyone. Those hours the foster family doesn’t have to spend making dinner or picking up diapers allows extra time for them to help their foster children feel welcomed and comfortable in their new surroundings. Every text sent to check-in or listening ear offered helps our foster families feel seen and appreciated for their work that often goes unnoticed.
We know not all families are called to adopt, but we do believe everybody can do something. Below is a list of very helpful (and easy!) ways you can support a foster family. Pick just one task or all of them! Either way, that family will be forever grateful.
15 ways to help support foster families
Learn each foster child’s name and take time to get to know them
Drop off a freezer meal with every new placement
Offer to wash winter coats & boots at the end of the season
Lend bikes if you have unused ones in the right size
Drop off a stack of disposable items to make life easier (paper plates, silverware, toilet paper, paper towels)
Text when you are at the store to see if they need anything
Be understanding when they don’t text back (they totally meant to!)
Drop off lunch just because
Offer to come and entertain the kids so foster parents can catch up on daily tasks like cleaning (or showering!)
On hard days, leave muffins or donuts on the doorstep
Help transport kids to activities or school
Listen & validate the foster family’s feelings – there are seriously so many feelings
Encourage your church to support local agencies and nonprofits
Complete the paperwork to be a substitute caregiver for them
Ask what they need, pushing past replies of “Nothing” or “I’m not sure” (accepting help is hard, even for foster parents)
Do you have the capacity to help foster families but don’t personally know of any? Simply contact our team. We know plenty and would love for you to join our circle of friends!