Making a difference for Foster Children!

ID-10012481There are many ways to help vulnerable children in your community and around the world. Here are some ideas to consider, as you pray about what God might be inviting you to do. My wife recently put together the following list of ways to make a difference.

  • Adding a child to a family through foster care or adoption, is just as exhausting and stressful as bringing home a newborn.  Offer to do the same types of things for foster/adoptive families that you would for a family that just had a baby – take meals, offer to help watch other children, ask what they need!
  • Donate your child’s outgrown clothes to a foster family… they often need to have a variety of sizes on-hand for placements who typically come with nothing.  Or donate to an organization that provides foster families with free clothing, such as “Jose’s Closet” (josescloset.org) or “Helen’s Hope Chest” (mesaunitedway.org), which both operate here in the East Valley.
  • Become licensed as a respite provider, and take foster children for a week or weekend to give their foster parents a break.
  • Mentor an at-risk youth or foster child.  Christian Family Care Agency provides training for this.
  • Become a CASA (court appointed special advocate), and advocate for abused and neglected children in court.  (www.azcourts.gov/casa)
  • Help to make programming at your church friendly for children with disabilities, and behavioral challenges.
  • Pray, pray, pray.  (“40 Day Prayer Guide for Orphans” by Kay Warren – great resource!)
  • Become a financial sponsor for vulnerable children living in poverty-stricken areas around the world. There are many Christian organizations that provide sponsorship opportunities – two of the most well-known are Compassion International and World Vision.
  • Think God might be asking you to consider becoming a foster parent?  Attend an orientation to learn more about it, no strings attached!  All agencies in Arizona offer the same orientation.  Contact an agency for dates/times.
  • Partner with a local foster agency to provide a “Parents Night Out” for their foster families.  Offer free childcare through your church, so parents can enjoy an evening out!
  • Throw showers for foster and adoptive moms!  In a foster situation, the shower can occur when a family is getting licensed.  Guests can bring gift cards since usually genders/ages are unknown, but each placement typically enters the home with nothing and there are a number of up-front expenses.  An adoptive family will appreciate a shower the same way biological families do… including families adopting older children (doesn’t have to be called a “baby” shower).

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