Providing foster care to an innocent child is undoubtedly one of the most fulfilling decisions you can ever make in life. But let’s face it; as much as you want to help, it may not always be possible to become a foster parent due to circumstances beyond your control. The good news is, you can still play a decisive role in the child’s support and wellbeing, albeit indirectly or without being a foster parent.
Curious to discover how? Perfect! This post provides six results-proven ways to help support kids in foster care. Let’s get down to business, shall we?
Provide Respite Care
Sometimes, as a parent, it becomes pretty challenging to take care of the foster child while still attending to other everyday activities like work and running errands. That’s where respite care comes in handy! It’s the practice of giving foster parents a short-term break by temporarily taking care of the child, say for the weekend or a few days. Think of it as foster parenting for a short period.
Respite care is also an excellent way to gauge if foster parenting is suitable for you. Plus, you get the opportunity to contribute benevolently to the foster care system by:
- Reducing the chances of child abuse or neglect
- Decreasing the chances of foster care placement disruptions
- Giving foster parents a break so that they can rest and recharge
- Nurturing the foster children’s relationships with other caring adults
- Providing the child with adequate love and attention that they deserve
Become an Advocate
Advocating for the rights of these young, helpless souls and becoming their voice of reason is one of the most remarkable contributions you can make. But how do you accomplish that? For starters, you want to conduct a thorough background check and gather as much info about foster care and children as possible.
You then want to use every available means of communication to publicity agents, politicians, and lawmakers, bringing their attention to the needs of these young adults who face disturbing challenges, especially after leaving the foster care system. What’s more, writing editorial letters and posting information on social media are excellent ways to advocate for foster children’s rights and wellbeing.
Assisting Those Who Age Out
Out of the 500,000 children who enter foster care annually in the U.S., 20,000-25,000 of them get aged out of the system, so they can begin living independently. While some children are usually lucky enough to return home to their parents, biological family, or get adopted, others never enjoy the much-needed reunification.
Imagine reaching 18 years, getting aged out of the system, only to find out that you have no one or nowhere to go. It can be a very frustrating and scary experience. But guess what? By providing the little assistance you have, you can help guarantee the future of these children, enabling foster families to plan the smooth transition of those who age out.
Being there to Listen
Helping foster families doesn’t necessarily mean providing financial support or donating items. An act as simple as offering a listening ear may mean the world to that child without you even knowing it. Some children have pressing issues they want to get off their chests, but they have no one to talk to.
So if you decide to gift your time and the child opens up to you about their dark past, you should listen without judging or criticizing. You may have some things to say, but it’s best that you just keep them to yourself. Further, don’t try to get the child to talk about why they got into foster care. Your only role is to listen and empathize with the kid for whatever they decide to confide in you. Finally, don’t forget to pass any info the child has shared with you to the foster parent. It goes a long way in improving how the child gets taken care of or supported.
Make a Donation or Raise Funds
Donating to a non-profit foster care provider is another selfless way of helping a child without becoming their parent. Your generous support allows foster families and agencies to continue with their benevolent mission of providing care, shelter, learning materials, foods, games, etc., to the less fortunate children.
Besides donating, you can also participate in fundraisers such as:
Peer-to-Peer Facebook Fundraising
Here’s an idea: the next time you celebrate an important milestone like college graduation or birthday, you should consider raising foster care funds instead of receiving gifts. Sounds interesting, huh? Facebook provides easy-to-use fundraising tools, where you just follow simple instructions, as documented here, and you’re set in a few clicks. When prompted to provide your non-profit, simply select Utah Youth Village, and Facebook will deposit the funds raised directly to us.
Raise Funds When Shopping with Amazon Smile
Anytime you shop with Amazon Smile, a small percentage of your purchases goes to a non-profit of your choice. All you need to do is sign in with your Amazon details, search for & select your preferred charity, i.e., Utah Youth Village, and Amazon will automatically remit your donations to our accounts.
Reach Out to Utah Youth Village
There you have it! While we accept that not everyone can be a foster parent, anyone can help support an innocent child without being involved in their lives directly. It only takes simple acts of kindness such as volunteering, offering to listen, advocating, mentoring, providing respite care, and, if the finances allow, donating, among other practices.
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