4 Ways to Help Vulnerable Children in Your CommunityJulie Smith
All families are beautifully different and unique. Whether you’re in a big city or a small town, in every community, there are families who are struggling with poverty, substance use, food insecurity, trauma, and physical or mental illness. These challenges put the family at risk of breaking down and they need support from the community to overcome adversity and emerge a stronger, intact family.
Here are 4 impactful ways you can help vulnerable children in your local community. All of us can help in some way, so identify the way that works best for you!
1. Become a foster parent
Perhaps the most impactful way you can help vulnerable children is by becoming a licensed foster parent. Currently, over 400,000 children are in the U.S. foster care system due to abuse and neglect. These kids need a safe place with caring adults while their bio family works to overcome challenges so that the child can safely return home. Each state has basic requirements that you must meet in order to become a licensed foster parent, including completing foster parent training.
2. Respond to needs
In order to bring greater visibility and attention to the needs of vulnerable children, we created CarePortal. This technology platform mobilizes churches across the nation to meet the needs of children and families in their community. Today, case workers, police officers, school personnel, and church members are using CarePortal to submit requests on behalf of families in need.
Businesses, civic groups, sports teams, individuals, and more are responding to those needs to not only provide resources like beds (most requested item), car seats, funds for a reliable vehicle or a down payment on an apartment, but also meaningful, ongoing relationships. CarePortal is expanding across the nation as well as beyond just serving children in the child welfare system. You could see a request for a kid who attends your child’s school, a family from your church, or even your next-door neighbor, and have the opportunity to respond.
3. Make a connection
Perhaps you know a child or family that needs some extra support and could devote some time to build a deeper connection with them. Offer to babysit, invite the family over for dinner, or help with a chore such as cleaning or mowing the lawn. You can also facilitate meaningful connections between the family and your own network of family and friends which can lead to new employment opportunities or involvement in church groups or civic organizations.
It’s ok if you don’t have the time to become a foster parent, respond to needs, or connect with a family in need. You can still help vulnerable children in a meaningful way by donating funds. Donations to The Global Orphan Project are used to meet the greatest needs of kids and families that we serve all over the world, and 100% of your donation goes to care for kids.