10 Ways to Support a Foster Parent 

I am lucky. I have a truly wonderful support system. Fostering takes a whole community so here is a list of things that you can do to support a foster parent. Not all these things are possible for everyone but 

  1. Listen to them. Sometimes as a foster parent we don’t feel like we have a “right” to complain since we chose this. Let the foster parent in your life know it’s okay to vent to you.
  2. Watch the kids. In some states this might mean that you have to background check but let them know you are willing to begin the process. 
  3. Come over and help out. Maybe you don’t want to babysit, so offer to go over to their house and be an extra hand. The week after I received a placement of two kids (ages 22 months and 8 at the time) was my foster sons 10th birthday and I promised him we could go to six flags. I had friends offer to come with so that he had an adults to ride rides with while I stayed with the almost two year old. 
  4. Bring food. Those first couple weeks of having a new placement are stressful. The less a foster parent has to worry about those first weeks the more they can focus on the kids. 
  5. Offer to be the person they call to go run out and pick things up. A foster parent may only have an hour it is always great to have people available to go to the store and pick up diapers or clothes so they can wait for the children. 
  6. Donate your children’s old clothes/baby gear. I have a basement full of different sizes of clothes and toys. It is great to be able to go downstairs and grab things I need. It takes a little bit of the stress away. 
  7. Do laundry/clean the house. During a really stressful week my mom came over and did all my laundry. It was never something I would ask for but it allowed me to focus on the kids who needed me.
  8. Offer carpool. I spend a lot of time in the car driving to different appointments. If you could take my child to swim lessons this week so I can stay home and wash my dishes, I would be forever grateful.
  9. Invite them to go places with you. I went from a single women to a parent in the blink of an eye. I appreciated when coworkers or acquaintances invited me to do kid related activities with them. 
  10. Love the kids.  Seriously though! I am over joyed by how my family and friends have treated my foster children as part of the family. They give them gifts, and write them letters, and include them in everything we do. It’s the little things that countS 

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