Faith

10 Things You Can Do To Support The Foster Parents In Your Life

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

 

 

10 thoughts on “10 Things You Can Do To Support The Foster Parents In Your Life

  1. Thank you Whitney for bringing attention to this amazing, but often difficult endeavour. My husband and I have been foster parents for 17 plus years. We have been adoptive parents for 14 years, adopting 2 precious boys with high special needs. We have had 36 foster children in that time; some for as little as 2 weeks, others as long as 3 years. Presently we have a newborn baby girl. Speaking from experience, this journey has been a huge learning curve and the most challenging thing we’ve ever done. So many Christians do not understand the sacrifices we have made and are making to give these children a home and hope, but most of all, the opportunity to know Jesus as their own personal Saviour and have a relationship with Him. So many people say ,”I could never love a child and give them up. I don’t know how you can do it”. We sit in church and sing, “No sacrifice can be to great for me to give to Thee. Lord send me anywhere, only go with me,” yet fail to see that loving a child and letting that child go is a ministry, an act of faith in our God, and a gift of love to the child. We are the blessed ones who have been on the receiving end of the love and trust of the children placed in our care. We have the joy of helping them reach their full potential and letting them go out to fulfill their God-given roles, the same as we do with our birth children, only much earlier. I realize that it is not something everyone can do, nor is everyone called to do it…..This is an example of God’s grace to us. We had a set of twins, a girl and a boy, who came to us when they were 5 and stayed with us until they were 7. They were adopted by another family 10 years ago. Our daughter is a Music Therapist in the same town these children were adopted in. Our daughter went to the local high school to do therapy. As she was walking down the hall, a 17 year old girl approached her and asked if she was Courtney, our daughter. Courtney said, “yes I am”. The girl said”I’m ____” and gave her a big hug. Our former foster daughter then took our daughter, Courtney, to meet her teacher. _____ said to her teacher,”This is my sister!” We have not seen her since she was adopted. She is a beautiful girl who accepted Christ when she lived with us. Her time with us made such an impact on her life. …We are imperfect people and our only merit is in Christ and Him alone, but this is why we do what we do. God bless all you foster/adoptive parents out there. Keep looking to Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Wow Elaine, thank you SO much for your input!! I love what you said, “loving a child and letting that child go is a ministry, an act of faith in our God, and a gift of love to the child.” I am going to tuck that away in my heart for when the time comes to say goodbye to my sister’s foster children! Thank you for your incredible ministry over the years – only eternity will tell the impact your family has made on your foster children! Hugs!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Such a great list! We have some local friends that are foster parents and it definitely requires a ton of love and a ton of flexibility to be available 24/7. I’m sure they’d appreciate dinner delivered to their door so I need to offer.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. One of my “oily” friends is in the process of becoming a foster mom( along with her husband). I was able to donate some of the baby things I had here for my grands that I no longer use. While perusing FB last night I noted that their church had a book shower for them and many people included gift cards to help them purchase other needed additions to their home. I admire those who step in and love on children who need a caring ( and praying) heart on their side.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. How wonderful that you were able to give those things to your friend!! I know for my sister, it cost them a good bit of money just to get their home “up to code” with all the safety precautions the state required. I’m sure the gift card shower was a big help!

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  4. What a great resource this post will be to many! While I don’t currently have friends or family providing foster care in my area, the next time I do I will certainly remember these fantastic ideas of ways to show them love and extend support to them! I love that you reached out to family and friends who are Foster Parents to get their input when writing this post! Very thoughtful of you!!

    Like

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