Since we’ve started our journey, I know a lot of people have expressed interest in either Fostering or straight Adoption. And while they all mean well, what I really want to say is – you can help! You might not be ready to take the full dive, but there are plenty of ways to help.
There are actually a ton of ways you can volunteer that could help. You could become a Court Appointed Special Advocate, or most organizations that help find foster families have volunteer opportunities. The state can also help connect you with a way to volunteer.
There a few things you could do if you have a group of people who want to help. Donate to or volunteer with a Rainbow Room.
A Rainbow Room is an emergency resource center available to CPS caseworkers to help them meet the critical needs of abused and neglected children. It consists of a store-like setting that allows Child Protective Services workers to go “shopping” for the children and families on their caseloads.
They accept only new items, so this might be a good option if you want to do a group effort – host a drive for formula, diapers, school supplies or toys. Find your local Rainbow Room contact info here. A church near you might also have something called a “Moses Closet” which is similar in vein but geared toward Foster Parents.
You could also work on a project from Together We Rise like personalizing duffel bags or creating birthday care packages or pull together a school supply drive. You can also donate duffel bags or suitcases.
Politics might seem like an unlikely item on the list, but realistically a lot of the time political policies affect every day life for people. This really directly impact children in foster care and families who are involved because technically they are wards of the state. The Texas Legislature only meets for 6 months every 2 years and here’s a list of all the bills that would have some affect on foster care or CPS.
So, if you want to help without leaving your house, look into what bills are being looked at. Advocate for positive change. And contact your state Senator or Representative and let them know that it’s so important these kids have the resources they need – then ask how they are helping.
There are qualifications to being able to watch a child in Foster Care, particularly overnight. So, if the parents want (or need!) to go out of town for a weekend without the kids, someone needs to watch them. You can go through the steps and be able to provide a much needed care when you are able.
Become A Foster Parent
I know, I tricked you because this list was supposed to be about all the other ways, but really – do it. At least go to an orientation. If you think you could do it “one day” or have “thought about” take it to the next step. There are likely a lot of misconceptions that you heard, and there are probably things that you didn’t realize were resources to help.
- A list from Depelchin on how to help
- How To Help Children in Foster Care from The Sway
- 10 Ways to Stop 23000 Kids From Aging Out of Foster Care from the Dave Thomas Foundation
- 101 Ways to Get Involved in Foster Care
- 5 Ways to Help from GoodBad Dad
- You Don’t Have To Foster To Help a Child in Need – Houston Mom’s Blog