Do you know someone who is a foster parent? Not only are there foster parents in my local church and circle of friends, my sister and brother in law welcomed their first foster children into our family this year! I’ve always had a heart for adoption and foster parenting, but it’s not something that we’ve felt God call us to personally. You might not feel called to be a foster parent, but you can still support the foster parents in your life!
I reached out to my friends and family who are providing foster care and asked for their input on this topic. They gave me some great ideas! Here are 10 things you can do to support the foster parents in your life.
#1 Pray For Them
- Foster parenting can be a long, emotionally exhausting experience. Pray for your friends to feel the comfort, wisdom, love and provision of their Heavenly Father.
#2 Offer to attend meetings, court sessions or doctor’s appointments with them
- Foster parents often have very full calendars, from appointments at government offices to doctor’s visits, court dates and more. Offering to attend those events, especially when one parent is tied up at work, provides tremendous support and encouragement.
#3 Be flexible
- Remember that they may have to drop everything when a new child is placed in their care. They might not be able to keep up their usual social calendar due to the needs of their new children. When they do make it to church or your community event, they might be a little late or have to leave a little early, but making them feel just as welcome as before helps them adjust to their new normal.
#4 Offer to babysit so they can have a night out
- All parents appreciate a night out, even foster parents. 🙂
#5 Stop by just to clean their house or help with laundry
- I’m not great at babysitting, but show me a dirty kitchen and I’m golden. Offer to run a few loads of laundry, vacuum or clean the bathroom.
#6 Bring a meal
- This is another easy one for people who aren’t natural babysitters. You could even swing by your favorite Mexican restaurant and pick up takeout for them – who doesn’t love the person that brings nachos? Organizing several weeks or even months worth of meals can be super helpful – I like using Take Them A Meal when scheduling meals for people in our church. I always send the link to the family so they can see who is coming and what they are bringing each night!
#7 Give them gift cards for the children’s needs
- Again, this is a good one for someone like me who isn’t up on the latest and greatest kid-everything. Ask them where they do their shopping and get them a gift card for that store. You may know that foster parents receive a stipend to help with the children’s needs, but often it doesn’t really cover the needs of a child that has just arrived in their care.
#8 Share things your children have outgrown like books, clothes or toys
- Check with your friends to see what they need. You could help them save a lot of money on those big-ticket items like car seats or mamaRoos!
#9 Stop by just to hold their baby
- If they are caring for a baby that needs to be held a lot, they aren’t getting much else done! Offer to hold their baby while they take care of things around the house, home school their other children or take a shower.
#10 Send a text to encourage them during the day
- Many times my coworkers, friends or family will ask me how my sister’s little family is doing. I always let her know when someone asks about them, and it encourages her to know that people she’s never met are praying for her family!
Do you have any other ways that you’ve encouraged and supported the foster parents in your life? Please tell me about it in the comments! If you are a foster parent, you are my hero!
Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and He will repay him for his deed. Proverbs 19:17
Father of the fatherless…God settles the solitary in a home. Psalm 68:5-6