Support Adoption and Foster Care
This year's theme is "In Their Own Words: Lifting Up Youth Voices." One of the goals of this year’s campaign is to secure more lifelong connections for teens in foster care. Strong and stable family support is so critical in determining their future.
Here are a number of ways you can show support:
Foster a Child
Becoming a foster parent will require a little bit of effort on your end. You’ll have to complete an application, home inspections, background checks and training, but the impact you’ll have on a child that would otherwise be in a group home will be measureless.
Fostering a child gives them a comfortable, stable enviromnent and the special attention that every child deserves. Just remember that requirements vary by location, so you should start by contacting your state’s Department of Social Services for specific information.
Help Fund a Family
Adoption can be a very expensive process, and cost is one of the biggest deterrents for families considering this path. If you have the means to help, consider donating to a group like AdoptTogether, which is a crowdfunding platform that’s raised over $17M to help more than 4,000 families.
If you’d rather give supplies like toys, clothing and books, you can call a local foster agency and they’ll most likely be more than happy to accept any donations you’re willing to give.
Become a CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) Volunteer
A CASA volunteer is someone who is authorized by the court to watch over and advocate for a specific child in foster care. As a CASA, you may become the most constant, stable adult in the child’s life. Your involvement will include spending time with the child, getting to know him or her, interacting with the other individuals in the child’s life, and speaking on their behalf in court. To learn more visit CasaForChildren.org.
Offer Respite Care
Children in foster care must be under the supervision of an adult at all times, but sometimes foster parents need a break. You can help out by becoming a state approved caregiver. You might be asked to provide care for a short time while the foster mom or dad runs to the grocery store, or you might even help out for a whole weekend. Care.comhas good insight into Respite Care.
Volunteer Your Time and Professional Services
The options are virtually endless. Local adoption agencies and foster care programs can always use a spare set of hands, and many of these agencies have volunteer forms on their websites. You could mentor kids who are waiting for their forever family, you could help with life skills like preparing for college or jobs, or you could offer your professional services. Whether you’re an attorney, doctor, therapist or notary, you could be a huge help to children and families going through the adoption process.
Help spread the word. There is such a great need for adoption in this world, and posting articles and stories on social media really does help. Educate yourself and those around you with the means you have. You can make a difference in a child’s life!