The opportunities to volunteer and help with kids in foster care are endless. You could become a mentor by taking a vested interest in the life of a child in care that you know personally or you could sign up through one of dozens of programs such as Big Brothers Big Sisters.
Become a Foster Family:
You don’t need to own your own home, have children already, or be young, wealthy, or a stay-at-home parent to adopt or foster. Although eligibility requirements vary between states and territories, in most instances marital status, age, income, and sexual orientation will not automatically disqualify someone from being a foster parent or adopting a child from foster care.
Characteristics needed to be a good foster or adoptive parent include:
- Being stable, mature, dependable, and flexible
- Having the ability to advocate for children
- Being a team player with your family or child welfare worker
More Foster Parents are Needed. Fostering Isn’t Easy, But It’s Worth It.
Reach out to your local Department of Family Services for more information and to start the process to become a licensed foster parent
Become a CASA:
A Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) is a volunteer who is authorized by the court to speak on the behalf of a child in foster care. A CASA spends time with the child, gets to know him, and speaks with everyone in the child’s life, including foster parents, birth parents, relatives, teachers, social workers, attorneys, and medical professionals. They then take what they have learned to the judge and make recommendations in the best interests of the child.
CASAs can be a source of stability and hope in the life of child and many volunteers find the experience to be rewarding.
If you have a heart for children in care, but foster parenting isn’t possible for you, you can fight for the rights and well-being of the 400,000+ in the U.S. foster care system simply by raising awareness of the state of the foster care system. First learn about where the system falls short. Talk to foster parents, read the stories of former foster children, listen when you hear about foster care on the news, and reach out to your local agencies. Then, use your voice to educate others about what you’ve learned. The children who suffer because of our collective negligence are voiceless. They need us to speak for them.
For more information on any of these ways to help, seek out a licensed foster parent in your area or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org