Foster children desperately need loving families to welcome them in to their homes. These children and the families who welcome them in desperately need their communities to get involved. Here are some ways you can do that.
If you are friends with a family that is already fostering or considering fostering, get on their support team. They might not be good at asking for help, but they need it. Meals, transportation for kids, encouragement, prayer, friendship, understanding, watching their kids for a couple of hours, providing respite care (you need to get licensed), and more. If a prospective foster family invites you to support team training, go!
Give foster families a short term break to recharge or address challenges by taking the foster children in to your home for a temporary time. You will need to attend some training (a subset of what foster parents need to take). Contact the same agencies that provide foster care training, like Beechacres, NECCO, Lighthouse or Focus on Youth in Ohio, or Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services and NECCO, in Kentucky.
Become a Court Appointed Special Advocate (a CASA)
This vital role requires a few hours per week, and a flexible schedule. You get to know a child in foster care by talking to everyone in that child’s life: parents and relatives, foster parents, teachers, medical professionals, attorneys, social workers, and others. Then you use the information to inform judges and others of what the child needs and what will be the best permanent home for them. Go to ProKids for Hamilton County, or check out Casa for Children for general information and CASA organizations in your county.
Consider becoming a Safe Family
Before a crisis develops, become a family that voluntarily takes children in to their home for a period of time to be a blessing to the birth parents while they work through problems. Learn more here.