Creating a Welcoming & Supportive Environment for Foster & Adoptive Families in Your Church

  • Model sensitivity when speaking about foster care, adoption and the families involved. The word “orphan,” referring to adoption as “Plan B,” sermons about “rescuing children” and sometimes even singling out families as “superheroes” can be perceived very differently by children who are being fostered or were adopted.
  • Build a “Buddy” program in which trained volunteers provide the supports and attention a child needs to be successful at church.
  • Offer a workshop, post web-articles or provide weekly e-tips on understanding, loving and caring for foster and adoptive kids and parents.
  • Provide a family-room worship experience. This could be a video-feed into a family-friendly room at church or a live-stream of the service into their own family room.
  • Create a Sensory Room where children (and adults) with sensory disorders can worship and learn without anxiety-inducing distractions.
  • Provide a resource list of books, blogs and videos to help others understand the impact of trauma, grief and loss.
  • Organize transportation for siblings to attend church services and activities when mom and dad need to remain home with a sibling.
  • Develop a foster and adoption ministry that goes beyond inspiring families to foster and adopt. Includes things like respite care, support groups, mentoring, practical care, trauma-informed parenting strategies and counseling.

For more information and ideas on developing a foster and adoptive culture in your church, email