Perhaps being a foster parent is not for you. There are many, many other ways to help if fostering does not fit your family’s needs. With it being National Foster Care Month, it’s a great time to find a way to be supportive to a child or agency in the foster care system. If you’ve always wondered what it would be like to work with Foster Children, this is an easy way to get your foot in the door and experience this field first-hand.
Recently, I contacted the Children’s Home Society here in Palm Beach County and found that there are lots and lots of agencies under their umbrella. I’m excited because I will be doing some group classes and graduation coaching with some young adults aging out of the foster care system. The young girls in this facility are either teens in the system that are pregnant or have a child or they are homeless and pregnant or have a child. Most of these girls do not have a direction or any idea of what awaits them upon leaving this facility. I look forward to using my life-coaching, teaching and education background to help coach and empower these young girls as they begin to plan for life with their child on the “outside”.
When I met with the program director, she mentioned she has many ideas where volunteers may come and help. She wishes she had someone to come in and teach these girls “mom” skills and fun “mom/child” things that these girls were most likely not taught in their childhood. The program director mentioned simple ways her volunteers may help.
I’ve added a list here that include some of her ideas along with a few other ones I’ve found on two different agency websites. I’m sure there are many, many more avenues, and it’s definitely possible to find a place to fit in and find something to enjoy.
- Leading a “Mom & Me” class
- Teaching Sewing/Quilting
- Assisting with administrative work
- Making Meals/Teaching Cooking
- Teaching Life-Skills Classes
- Organizing/playing/hanging with kids on “Sports Day”
- Offering professional support for your area of expertise
- Cleaning Services
- Marketing/Public Relations/Development
- Writing grants
- IT Support
- Relief House Parents
- Coordinating Special Events
- Repairing Automobiles
- Respite foster home
- Guardian Ad-Li tum
Most agencies are individually run by a program director and there are a lot that are privately run by churches. Depending on the needs of the home, there are so many ways to help these kids experience things they may have missed out on since being in foster care.
Go ahead, I challenge you…take the leap and find a place to volunteer. Remember, if one organization doesn’t seem to “fit” your family, then try another one. This is also a great way to model giving and sharing with your own children.
Do you volunteer somewhere in the Foster Care System?
Do you have other ideas for serving in this area?
If you decide to get involved and serve,
please feel free to check back and share your experience.