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helping a child in foster care

Child pilot aviator with airplane dreams of traveling.

The foster care system has its challenges. However, it is still the best feeling of home that the close to half a million American kids in the system will ever know. One challenge for the system is that there are more children than the number of parents willing to adopt. Most people shy away from addressing issues related to the system because they don’t understand it. Indeed, they do not know that there are other ways they can help besides adopting. Here is a summary of three things that you can do to support foster care.

Providing Respite Foster Care

The law stipulates that an adult must supervise all children in the foster care system at all times. The law is quite restrictive because it means parents who take kids in cannot accept babysitting help from relatives or neighbors, even in an emergency. To offer respite care to these parents, you need to fill a form and submit your driver’s license, so you are allowed to serve as an emergency contact. Once approved, you can plan respite care with the foster for a few hours to a few weeks.

Financially Supporting the Foster Families and System

Donation is a wonderful solution for people who would like to help but are not confident about their parenting skills. You can pick a family with foster kids close to you and donate to them. There are more challenging things about the system, such as family visits, doctor’s appointments, reports, caseworker visits, and other paperwork, which is extremely stressful.  Helping a family for a few hours each week can make a lot of difference.

Volunteering as a Mentor

You can mentor a child in the system without having to take them in. Programs such as Pathway Family Services, Inc. allow you to mentor a child as they grow and act as a role model.

Most of the challenges within the foster care, especially with the youths in the TRAIL program can be overcome with a little cooperation. Sign up and become part of the change you want to see within the system.