Additional ways to support foster families & children:
Provide a meal — When someone has a baby, family and friends often bring a meal while the family is adjusting to a new addition. Meals are a huge blessing that helps create time and emotional space during these days of getting to know one another. Be certain to ask about food allergies, likes, and which meal to deliver.
Become a respite provider or approved babysitter – Foster parents can decide who may be with their Youth in Service just as they do with their own children. If your congregation provides background checks for those who work with children and you are on this list AND known by the family, let them know you can provide a few hours of oversight. See if another household may provide tickets to see a movie or pay for valet parking.
Mentor a youth – A mentor in a young person’s life is one of the most powerful factors in making a positive difference in that young person’s life! This is particularly true for older kids. Kids need supportive adults in their lives. Offer to take a foster kid out for dinner, ice cream, or to a ball game on a regular basis and earn their trust by listening and connecting.
Volunteer to run errands – Offering to stop at the store, take a child to their soccer practice or dance class, take packages to the post office, or even take the family car in to be serviced is a huge help! There are many opportunities! Let a foster family know when you are available and how you can help!
Household chores – There is paperwork and numerous appointments that come with foster care (doctors, dentist, psychologist, play therapist, OT, PT, etc.) in addition to all the visitors that come see the kids each month (caseworker, lawyer, agency worker, etc.). So, while foster families may seem like the average family, there are so many household tasks that can easily slip through the cracks in the business. An offer to come help clean out the garage, weed flower bed, repair a fence, organize a closet or under the sinks, or even folding laundry would be such a blessing for a family.
Package and grocery delivery helper – Offer to be the home where packages can be delivered when foster families know they will not be available to receive a package. Since more families are ordering their groceries online but may have a schedule conflict for the time of delivery, offer to be available to put perishable items away in the refrigerator or freezer.
Lawn and outside care provider – Offer to cut the grass, weed a flower bed, water the plants, rake leaves, or pick-up trash, sweep off steps and sidewalks, or shovel the walk and steps.