3 ways to help kids in foster care
Someone once said, "You will know you've found your calling from God if the cause you are working for brings you to tears." I have found this to be very true in my life, and that is why my family has become involved in foster care.
Every time I think about kids who are hurting, neglected, or abused, it brings me to tears, and I feel compelled to do something to help. I feel moved to be part of the solution.
"You will know you've found your calling from God if the cause you are working for brings you to tears."
Foster families see the best and the worst of society. They see the devastation of a hurt child, but also get to see the joy of a child healing. They see a broken child learn what it means to be loved and cared for.
Five years ago, my family decided to become a foster family. Shortly after our foster license was approved, we had two sibling sets in our home. It was one of the most challenging, yet rewarding, experiences we have ever had.
Our time as a foster family was full of polarizing emotions that had us elated one day and sad the next. One day was filled with joy at seeing a child heal and bloom and the next was filled with sorrow over seeing a child's heart get broken yet again. But through it all, the benefits far outweighed the challenges. We had the joy of seeing a child heal, learn new skills, develop healthy relationships, bond with our family, and experience the love of their Savior Jesus.
Do you also feel moved to love hurting children in foster care? If yes, there are many ways you can get involved.
Three ways to help kids in foster care
1. Become a foster parent
It may sound obvious, but consider becoming a foster parent. The number of families opening their homes to children is less than the number of children entering into the system.* Counties and foster agencies are always scrambling to find a good home for many of the children that come to them. Maybe you could provide a loving and safe home for children.
2. Join a Family Care Team to support a foster family near you
Join a Family Care Team at your church to help out a family that is fostering.
Maybe you can bring a meal to them once a month or spend a few hours taking kids to the library or park. Maybe you can help with laundry or yard clean up or even tutor a child and help them with their homework.**
The ways you can support a foster family are endless. Plus, you will feel a huge sense of purpose and connection to your community as you work with your church and group to love a family.
My family and I got involved in the Foster Support program through Kingdom Workers because we understood the various needs that foster families have. We knew that foster families who have people to lean on for help are able to give better care for the kids in their home.
This also helps foster families keep kids in their home longer—something that is highly beneficial for the foster children because it provides stability. We wanted to be part of providing that needed support and we wanted to share the love of Jesus through our actions.
We also wanted to be an example and lead other people to join a Family Care Team. We soon found out that supporting a family does not take a lot of our time and is actually pretty easy to do.
You can help foster children and families by being the Family Care Team Lead at your church.
3. Become a Family Care Team Lead
Become the Family Care Team Lead at your church. Maybe you can't foster, but you are able to get a handful of church members organized to support a family. You can work with Kingdom Workers to learn how to bring the Foster Support program to your church. Maybe you can be part of creating a culture of service at your church while helping the children and families who need it most.
When someone lives with your family for an extended period of time, you fall in love with them and they are forever part of your family. They might be a foreign exchange student, a friend of one of your children, a student teacher who needs a place to stay for 6 weeks, or a foster child. No matter how they come into your home or who they are, they will forever hold a part of your heart.
Cathy Meier met Bill, President and CEO of Kingdom Workers, at Wisconsin Lutheran College and they have been married for 20 years. Cathy keeps herself busy raising their four daughters and working part time at Institutional Ministries. In her free time Cathy loves to travel, try new foods, and meet new people. Her theme for life is "Never let fear keep you from trying something new" and there is rarely an idea Cathy won't try. In fact, the Meiers have been foster parents in the past and Cathy dreams of the day when she can once again help children in the foster system find a loving home.
*Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System
**Kingdom Workers always recommends being with the child/ren in a public place. Foster parents receive training regarding babysitters and are ultimately responsible for the people they pick.