One of the most amazing things a person can do is to foster a child. However, this level of commitment isn’t for everyone. It is a tough, often thankless job that brings both love and frustration to the families and fosters. When you know a foster care family and are looking for ways to show your support, read on for three ways to do so. They will appreciate anything you do to show that you care and support their decision to foster.
1. Drop Off Food
Fostering often causes a lot of chaos during the day. This is especially true if the parents work while taking care of the kids. Bringing a hot meal is one way to show you want to help. A casserole, hot and ready to eat or even frozen for later use, will be a huge help for the family. If cooking isn’t your thing, consider putting together a basket of fun snacks and drinks instead.
You may also think about organizing a “meal train’ in your community. Ask family, friends, or church members to contribute. Pick a day for each person to deliver food. That way, the family will enjoy a steady stream of food they don’t have to cook.
2. Offer Help
Helping a foster family with chores is a great way to show support. However, don’t just say “call me anytime you need something!” Instead, be specific with what you can do. For example, tell the parents you would love to come over and help do laundry. Ask for a specific day and time that works for them. Offer to babysit on the weekend. Ask what day would be good for them and then come over and cut their lawn. Most of all, follow through. Don’t let them ask for help, as many families are too shy to specifically voice their needs.
3. Be a Shoulder to Lean On
One of the best ways to show support to a busy foster family is to just be there to listen without judgment. Foster parents often feel as though they are isolated and alone. As stated above, don’t wait for them to ask. Send a text or social media message first, and then ask them if they would like to vent to you for a minute. Offer to stop by with coffee and pastries. For some foster parents, venting to an outsider who listens and cares will help more than anything. Make sure they know they can trust you by keeping their conversation to yourself.
Fostering is difficult, but it is a wonderful idea. Help a foster family with these three tips. Even though you aren’t the one fostering, you will still make a huge difference when you care.