9 Ways to Help A Child in Foster Care Today
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9 Ways to Help A Child in Foster Care Today

by Angel Studios | June 19, 2024

How to Help Foster Kids

It can be intimidating to know where to start when it comes to helping kids in foster care. But there are countless ways to rally around these children and become a formative figure in their lives. This blog will give you a jumping off point as you continue your own research into how to join the fight for kids! 

The Importance of Helping Foster Kids 

There is a foster care crisis raging in America with over 100,000 children waiting for adoption. Angel Studios’ July 4th film Sound of Hope: The Story of Possum Trot tells the remarkable true story of a small church in Texas that decided to do something about it. By doing the impossible–adopting 77 children–this community proved that, with real, determined love, the battle for America’s most vulnerable can be won. 

This film will inspire you to take action and join the fight for kids in your community. There are endless ways to help foster children without becoming a foster parent, although people can foster and adopt if they feel inclined to do so. 

Read on to discover 9 ways you can help. 

Understanding the Needs of Foster Children

There are thousands of vulnerable youth in America that are in need of a family, a home, and most importantly, a friend. Helping one child can transform their lives, your community, and the country. Even volunteering just once a week or once a month can make a world of difference to children in crisis. 

Effective Ways to Support Foster Children 

Sound of Hope: The Story of Possum Trot

Become a Mentor to a Foster Child

Mentors play a crucial role in supporting foster kids by teaching essential skills such as vocational skills, budgeting, goal setting, time management, and problem-solving. Most importantly, mentors provide young people in the foster care system with a caring adult they can admire and confide in.

Oftentimes kids in foster care don’t own many belongings, so donating supplies to local organizations is extremely valuable. Some of the most helpful donations include clothing, hygiene products, school supplies, and backpacks. In addition to donating supplies, you can organize a collection drive at your church, school, or company to benefit foster families and foster children. 

Participate in Foster Care Fundraising Efforts

Reach out to foster care organizations in your community and determine which ones to donate to. Donor-funded programs promote hope and healing among foster kids. 

Use the National Foster Care and Adoption Directory to locate organizations in your area you can volunteer with. 

Consider Becoming a Respite Care Provider

Respite care workers offer short-term child care services to parents and caregivers, providing temporary relief, increasing family stability, and lowering the risk of abuse or neglect. Respite care can be provided during emergencies or crises and is available to foster, adoptive, and birth families needing support.

Volunteer with a Local Foster Organization

There are dozens of ways to volunteer at a local foster organization. Whatever your talents are, they can be utilized. Many volunteer opportunities include delivering a meal, providing childcare, working at an event, hosting a drive, organizing a service project, and more! 

Consider Becoming a Court-Appointed Special Advocate (CASA)

As a court-appointed special advocate (CASA) volunteer, you're authorized by the courts to advocate for a child in foster care.

CASA volunteers gather information from everyone in the child's life: parents, relatives, foster parents, teachers, medical professionals, attorneys, social workers, and others. This information helps judges determine the child's needs and find the best permanent home.

Host a Meet & Greet

Invite representatives from a foster care organization to come speak to your company, church, or family to educate them about the mission of foster care and how to get involved. These meet and greets bring greater awareness to the struggles foster kids face and rally community members to join in the efforts to give them a brighter future. 

Educate Others About the Foster Crisis

A powerful way to support a child in foster care is to deepen your understanding of the foster care system and stay informed about the challenges facing vulnerable families in your community. By educating yourself and sharing this knowledge within your circle, you can raise awareness and foster a ripple effect of support for everyone involved.

Connect with your local organizations and see what resources are available. 

The foster care community can utilize almost any skill you have! From tutoring to planning events, any effort you can give is time worth spent. For example, adoption agencies nationwide are seeking high-quality photos and videos of children to share with prospective families. By capturing these moments, you can help create lasting connections and opportunities for these children. 

Tips for Working With Youth Who Have Experienced Trauma 

It can be intimidating volunteering for the first time, so here are some tips from Utah Foster Care for how to best connect with vulnerable youth.

  • Celebrate small achievements and encourage self-esteem.

  • Take a stance of “not knowing” and remember youth are the experts on their lives and have wisdom to share.

  • Practice wondering “What happened to you?” rather than, “What’s wrong with you?”

  • Listen. Don’t feel the need to respond with answers or solutions, Use open-ended questions that invite curiosity. 

  • Try to respond rather than react.

  • If a youth appears disrespectful, remember they likely aren’t trying to be. Practice patience. 

  • Don’t take behavior personally. Without judgment, allow the youth to feel their feelings.

  • Limit “Why?” questions.

  • Stay in the present moment and respond with compassion and acceptance.

  • When you make a mistake—acknowledge and apologize modeling vulnerability, courage, and honesty.

  • Food hoarding isn’t uncommon. No need to say anything or limit their snack or food intake.

  • Physical touch can be uncomfortable or alarming, Avoid physical touch, unless they take initiative. 

Sound of Hope: The Story of Possum Trot: A Heartfelt Story of Adoption and Hope

Sound of Hope: The Story of Possum Trot aims to raise awareness about the foster care crisis and inspire audiences to use their influence to give children greater hope for their future. You can help spread the message of this film by buying tickets, Paying it Forward, buying merchandise, and sharing the film with friends and family on social media

Sound of Hope: The Story of Possum Trot

*Working with foster care youth is a personal decision and involves a certain degree of educational and legal exposure.  Interested parties should conduct their own due diligence and understand that they are assuming the risks associated with working and living amongst children in foster care.  The outcomes depicted in Sound of Hope: The Story of Possum Trot do not represent the outcomes for all instances of adoption or foster care children.

Pay it Forward.
Your choice to Pay it Forward keeps Sound of Hope: The Story of Possum Trot free around the world.