Many adults consider making their home a foster home for a child in need. But the actual process of certification and training and the amount of time, energy and financial commitment involved leads many would-be foster parents to reconsider. You can make a difference in the life of a foster child without making the ultimate commitment of becoming a foster parent. Here are a few ideas.
Offer professional peace of mind.
A Home Within is dedicated solely to meeting the emotional needs of foster youth. If you have a background in clinical psychology, you may be able to help as part of growing network of qualified therapists who work with foster children and young adults on a weekly basis. Learn more, and see if you qualify. And if you know someone who may need therapy, they can always find help here.
Make life more manageable.
You could sponsor a child through organizations like Unbound, or host a fundraiser in your community and donate the proceeds to a similar cause. Make sure to do your research on any charity to which you plan a contribution, including the percentage of expenses that go toward the services the charity claims to provide. You could also volunteer to help a group like Together We Rise—a national organization comprised of young adults, including former foster youth, dedicated to bringing resources to kids in the foster system and education to members of their communities.
Smooth out the process.
Adoption agencies and foster care services don’t just need foster parents. They also need in-house and remote volunteers. You can help as a court appointed special advocate, or connect directly with foster care and adoption agencies through the Department of Health and Human Services national directory. If you'd just like to make a difference without joining an organization, you can organize a supply drive to help a family in your community, or simply drop off a hot meal to lighten a foster parent’s load. And if after making a difference in the lives of a foster family, you realize you’re able to foster a child after all, here’s a great place to start.
Want to find even more opportunities to help foster youth in your community? Search here using keyword “foster.”