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May is Foster Care Awareness Month

May is Foster Care Awareness Month

May 16, 2014

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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

Fighting Against Human Trafficking

ICT SOS is a grassroots non-profit, founded in Wichita, whose mission is to connect the organizations who work directly with victims of human trafficking with members of the community who are compelled to help. Through this link, our community has an outlet to donate items, raise awareness of the sex trafficking issue and educate our children about safety. Contact us today to learn how to help. Or check out our get involved page to find out how to help the victims of sex trafficking.

We invite you to help create real and lasting change in our city!
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