10 Ways to Help a Child in Foster Care Without Being a Foster Parent.
This goes without saying. Prayer is the #1 thing to do. Intervene for that child, that child’s family, and the foster family to Jesus. Place them on church prayer lists, call your prayer warriors, set up a designated time to fervently pray for God’s direction on the lives of these children and families.
Collect new or gently used stuffed animals/toys
When you go to clean out your child’s belongings, save those that have been gently used, whether they are stuffed animals, books, or toys. When a child is taken from their parents (not by their choice), a lot of time these children will throw whatever they can gather, quickly, and put them in a garbage bag. Their whole little lives…..in a trash bag. My first set of kids came with the clothes they were wearing, a bottle, and a coat. That was it. My second set of children had their belongings in a giant black trash bag. Most of those things needed to be thrown away because they were disgusting. Also, drop off some of these items at the police station. Officers carry small items to give to children when they go on calls to help ease their fears. Take your junk and turn it into a child’s treasure.
This is a good homeschool/church activity. Get a gallon sized ziploc baggie and fill it with make up, lotion, deodorant, man spray, a razor, shaving cream, soap, shampoo, conditioner, a brush/comb, mirror, hair ties, a mini first aid kit, fuzzy socks, toothpaste, toothbrush, mouth wash, baby wipes, or a bandana. Tailor it for for boys and girls and label it clearly. You have
Offer to take the child/ren for the afternoon, overnight, or a weekend. Please ask the foster parent what the rules are because these kiddoes will not be honest with the respite care giver. That is just part of the beast. Be respectful of the time you have with the child and let them know that the rules at foster parent’s house is the same at your house, but you love them and want them to have a good, appropriate time at your house.
Fill a Duffel Bag
This is from, my sister, who has begun “Restoring Dignity” in her hometown. This program can and SHOULD go anywhere, any town, any state, at any time. This is an excellent church/coop/homeschool project.
Money speaks. Money helps.
Be an ear for a foster mama
Listen. Actively listen. Do not offer to fix it, just listen. Hug. Bake a pie. Offer to do her laundry. There are so many things you can do to help out a foster mama/family.
Please go to the CASA PROGRAM
Talk before you judge the child or the foster parent(s)
Be *so* mindful of your mannerisms, eyes, mouth, thoughts….we foster mamas know when we are being judged for treating those poor, sad foster children “differently” then we treat our neuro-typical kids. We are too hard on them. They deserve whatever they want. They’ve been through *so* much. I agree with that part, but the fact is, is you do parent a foster child differently. They have so much grief/loss on their shoulders and they can take your ounce of kindness and twist it a million ways. They need more structure. More time. Lots of love. Lots of hugs, if they will allow. Just listen. Don’t judge. I think that is why a lot of my experience was negative because when I tried to talk to “friends,” they judged so quickly….they stopped coming around….they wouldn’t let their kids play with my kids out of fear. Sad.
Provide a meal train
When a family gets a placement, take them a meal to freeze or eat. Set up a meal train with your church or community.
These simple acts can be a way that YOU can help with these children that have been taken into foster care because of poor choices made by their biological family. You do not have to actually be a foster parent, or a foster to adopt family, or an adoptive family only…..you can just be a human that sees/meets a need.