May is Foster Care Awareness Month

By May 16, 2014Blog, General Info

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I have seen statistics stating that as high as 80% of trafficked youth have been in the child welfare system. To me, this says one thing: we need to do a better job of supporting foster agencies, foster parents and foster youth.

Children who have a sense of community, family and support are much less vulnerable to abusers and traffickers. So, how do we create that safety net? Here’s a list of ideas:

  • Be a foster parent!
  • Be a respite provider. You don’t have to be a full-time foster family. You can also provide occasional respite or emergency care.
  • Serve as a foster care ambassador. (Contact valerie.leon@st-francis.org for info!)
  • Be a support to a family that you know is fostering. (Provide meals, rides, babysitting)
  • Throw a “Foster Shower” for new foster parents for items they will need. (Outlet plugs, cabinet locks, smoke detectors, etc)
  • Send an encouraging note or small gift to a kiddo placed with someone you know.
  • Call to check in with foster parents and ask how they are doing- let them vent if they need!
  • Show up to games, concerts, events for fostering families- cheer LOUDLY.
  • Host a donation drive for a foster agency for duffel bags, snacks, kids’ books or other items they need.
  • Volunteer at an agency’s office.

The requirements to foster are fairly simple:

  • 21 or older, married or single
  • Complete MAPP training
  • Pass a background check
  • Have an additional source of income (outside of foster care reimbursement)
  • Own or rent a suitable residence
  • Be willing to work as a team member

There are several great agencies to work with in the Wichita area as well:

Saint Francis Community Services

Youthville

Wichita Children’s Home

Salvation Army

TFI Family Services

If-We-Care