Here are five simple ideas that can help to bring joy to kids in foster care and help to foster parents. My hope is that I can inspire you to take a small step that will make a big impact on kids and parents who really need it.
When the phone rings, many times the child(ren) arrive with nothing except what they are wearing. The children have been removed from the only family that they know and thrust into a new home with new people, new rules and completely new situations. This is extremely stressful on the kids – but it’s also overwhelming for the foster parents who want to welcome the child(ren) the best way they can.
Here are FIVE simple ways to help foster parents when a new placement arrives:
- Drop off a meal – or two. Having a new child arrive can throw even the most ordered household into chaos for a few days. Having a meal that is prepared and ready to go is wonderful! If you don’t have time to prep a meal, order a pizza or drop off a gift card to a local restaurant that delivers. Even better, recruit a few friends to help cover meals for a week. Trust me – it makes a HUGE difference.
- If the child is school age, drop off a bag of school supplies, complete with a new back pack. School supplies are often overlooked, they add up quickly and it’s very apparent when the child is in class that they don’t have what they need. If you aren’t sure what they need ASK and then deliver.
- If the new child is an infant, diapers and formula are ALWAYS welcomed. A quick phone call can get you the correct size diaper and type of formula – believe me no one will ever tell you they don’t need it. Ever. If you aren’t sure, a gift card can be helpful. If you don’t want to leave the house, a gift card to amazon.com works every time!
- Call and check in with them to see what they need – even if it’s just an ear to listen or a shoulder to cry on. Text them to ask if they need anything from the library. Drop by with some coffee and a doughnut. Make it a point to let them know you are thinking about them and want to support them.
I hope this was a helpful list! It doesn’t have to be hard to support a foster family. Simply by showing them love, support and kindness it can make all the difference. Foster Care can be a very lonely road at times and having a support system is such a blessing!