Straight from a Foster Mom’s Mouth
Often when we are volunteering our time and resources to help others, we hold to our ideas of how we want to serve. With all of the information and recommendations that we provide monthly for support team members, our most important counsel is for you to ask your foster family what they specifically need. Each family is unique and each child they serve will have different needs. We hope that you and your foster family are in frequent and vulnerable conversation about ways to pray, praise, and discuss specific things that you and your team might do to help uphold and sustain the family.
For National Foster Care Month, we’re taking our own advice! We have asked a Project 1.27 foster and adoptive mom what she has needed from her support team as a foster parent.
Feed us! What seems like a simple act, bringing someone a meal, is a great blessing and huge relief. When a family brings home a biological newborn from the hospital, the community typically rallies with meals for weeks. How about when a foster child is placed in a foster home and in need of extra attention and care? There also may be particularly challenging and overwhelming seasons for the foster family where they could use the relief of not having to prepare a meal and clean up the kitchen afterward.
If you haven’t already, designate someone on your Support Team to lead the charge on creating a meal train for the family.
When the foster family is particularly busy with sports practices, appointments, or working through some challenging behaviors, volunteer to provide meals for a few days again.
Understand you are on a need to know basis. There is a fine line between staying in the know and pushing to know too much. As much as we encourage you to find out from the foster family how they are doing, we hope that you will balance that with your knowledge of how the parents communicate. Make yourself available for conversation and checking in, but allow your foster parents to take the lead in providing information that they want to share with you.
Give attention to the children already in the home. If your family has other children who live in the home, whether biological or adopted children, please make an effort to serve them as well as the foster child. Having a foster child in the home is a big adjustment as parents may feel consumed with visits, therapy appointments, and providing the foster child with attention and nurturing in order to best meet their higher level of needs. Other children in the home will benefit from your attention and desire to do fun things with them just as you do for the children who are in foster care.
- Rotate through all of the children in the household as you take each of them out for an individualized activity.
- When you enter the home, make sure to greet each of the children with the same level of enthusiasm and interest.
Commit for the long haul. When your family is certified as foster parents or have the first child placed in their home there is a great amount of energy and team momentum! As months progress and possibly years go on, it’s easy to get caught up in life and figure that your foster family will just ask for help when they need it. They, however, are still taking life a day at a time.
- Set reminders in your calendar to check in with your foster family at least once a month. A check in could be a text, phone call, or bringing a favorite coffee order by their house.
- Host a BBQ or dinner with all of the members of the Support Team once or twice a year to allow time for the team to determine if the family’s needs are being met as well as possible.
As Project 1.27, we thank you so much for your love and dedication to children in foster care and their foster families! We are humbled and grateful for the incredible Project 1.27 foster parents who provide so intentionally for children in Colorado.Tags: Blog Support