As National Foster Care Month comes to an end, I have been reflecting on how grateful I am to the families in our community who are dedicated, loving parents to children in crisis. They are the unsung heroes of our community. They would not see themselves as heroes; in fact they would prefer to remain in the background in quiet service.
A couple of months ago I had the opportunity to go to court with one of our foster families. The courtroom was full of people who thought they knew what was best for the child in care, even to the point of discrediting the abilities of the foster family. The foster family responded with quiet confidence and advocated with an authority that could only come from those who were walking in obedience to God and seeking Him for the best interest of the child.
I asked foster parents for the following suggestions of how you could support and encourage them:
*Help with house cleaning (professional or not) - Just to have someone come run a vacuum and dust the furniture could be a huge blessing.
*Lend your handyman services - Repairing simple things in their home that have been broken.
*Take the foster family's biological kids with you for some fun time. The first few days and weeks that a child comes into care can be stressful on the entire family.
*PRAY!! The children who come to foster parents are bearing things that children should never have to see/experience. They need our prayers for healing/wholeness and the foster parents need prayers for how to deal with the bio-parents, case managers, and in court processes.
*Offer to bring over a meal for the family, when a new child come into their home.
*Pray for the birth families.
*Drop by the foster parents' home with their favorite snack/candy bar, beverage, when they are have an especially tough day -- to give them a little encouragement
*Consider becoming a CASA to advocate for the children in the foster care
*Respect the child's story as just that...the CHILD'S story. Do not pry for information about why they are in care or details of their case. Foster parents are limited in what they can share.
*Send an encouraging note/phone call/email to let the foster parents know you care, when a child leaves their home.
*Consider becoming a respite provider for foster families.
*Take a foster child who has aged-out of the system under your wing. Invite them over for dinner, take interest in their lives and show them support and genuine care.
I am praying for those of you whose heart may be stirred to become a foster parents. You could bring hope and healing into a child's life. For more information about becoming a foster parent, contact your local county Children's Services Dept.
If you live in Larimer County, CO, contact Carla Felts at: email@example.com
Bethany Christian Services created the below video about foster care.
Hi! My husband Jeff and I have been married for 31 years. We have 9 children. Three by birth and six through adoption. Our children were born here in the US, China, Korea, Haiti and Hong Kong. God put adoption on my heart when I was a little girl. I grew up in the Foursquare Church with my dad being a pastor. We often had missionaries in our home. The pictures of children that lived in orphanages where they ministered were permanently etched on my heart. :)