I realize I haven't posted since summer of 2014, however it is for good reason. You see we have become a foster family! There are so many limits as to what we can and cannot post to social media that I have pretty much just not posted on here.
Right now, we are taking a break. Time to grieve. As I was laying in bed one night it occurred to me that many people out there may want to help, but just don't know how. Here is my list of things anyone can do to help out families with foster children.
1. Offer to babysit. This was truly one of our biggest needs. Whether it is during the day so they can go to doctor appointments alone or during the night so they can go on a date night. Make sure they have your phone number, email or facebook so that they can get a hold of you! (there are some limitations as to who can watch the foster kids, but from my understanding as long as it isn't more than 6 hours anyone can watch them)
2. Become a respite care provider! This is such a huge need. Probably second to becoming a full time foster parent! The best thing you could give a the parents in a foster home is a weekend away! Time to recoup and rest and communicate with out little ones interrupting them! Ask your foster family friends who to talk to about becoming one and I'm sure they will get you hooked up ASAP. :)
3. Offer to bring meals! Especially to those who may get a new born. Just because they didn't go into labor and have a stay at the hospital doesn't mean they don't still need meals provided like they did when they came home with their biological children.
4. Talk to them about fostering. Don't be afraid to ask questions, but understand that they probably won't be able to answer many of them. Also, know that when a child goes home or is moved to another placement, for whatever reason, it is like a piece of your heart goes away too. Be sure to talk to your foster friends about this. It is good to talk about how we are feeling that way we don't keep it all inside.
5. If you have clothes or toys or diapers, basically anything age appropriate for their foster child feel free to donate it to them. As a foster family, we send all of the things home (or to the next placement) with the child that we provided for them. So we may have things for a 6 month old baby right now, but once he/she leaves our home we will send that with him/her, causing us to no longer have the items if we get the same age child again. I hope that makes sense. It did in my head. :)
So there you go! 5 things you can do to help out foster families. I hope it helps give you an idea and if you have any more ideas, feel free to leave it in the comments!