5 meaningful ways to support a foster family | CarePortalGO Project
May is National Foster Care Month! At CarePortal and The Global Orphan Project, we want to acknowledge and thank all those who open up their homes and hearts to children and their families in a time of crisis. Even if you’re not in a place to foster children or youth yourself, there are so many ways to wrap around foster families with support.
So let’s get practical: below are 5 ways you can safely support foster families in your church or community. We challenge you to choose at least one for this month, then keep the support rolling throughout the year!
Deliver food. You can always start here. A hot meal can bring a whole lot of comfort, even in the midst of a whole lot of chaos. You can serve a family by dropping off a hot meal, a few freezer meals or even a basket full of yummy snacks.
Organize a meal train. Consider taking #1 to the next level and making sure the family has a steady stream of nutritional support coming their way. This is especially important in the first couple of weeks after a new placement arrives. MealTrain.com and MealBaby.com are just two of the many websites available to make this process efficient and helpful for a family that deserves a little extra love.
Gather supplies when a new placement arrives. Before and after a new placement arrives, be proactive and ask what the family needs. Maybe it’s diapers and a baby gate? Maybe it’s bunk beds and backpacks? Especially if a family fosters children of varying ages and genders over time, the supplies they need start to add up. Be sure to coordinate supply dropoff times with the family beforehand and avoid entering into homes.
Listen. This is a big one. Foster parenthood (and parenthood in general), and the busyness and complexity that comes with it, can often leave foster parents feeling isolated or unknown. Regularly and proactively check in with your friends to see how they’re doing. Grieve with them. Laugh with them. Pray with them. Finally, try not to give unsolicited advice; be with them and listen.
Pray. Finally — and firstly — pray. There are battles going on that we can’t always see. Pray for the child. Pray for their biological families. Pray for their foster parents. Pray for the biological children of the foster parents. (See Jason Johnson’s powerful post from 2015: “Foster Care is Spiritual Warfare”.)
Remember, you don’t have to do everything. Start with one small yes.
Share CarePortal with your church to get the enrollment process started and start serving those affected by COVID-19. With your support, we can mitigate food, home essentials and housing insecurities for the most vulnerable children and families.