Not everyone is called to be a full-time foster parent or to adopt. And that’s okay! There are many other ways you can lend your time, care, and resources to supporting foster families and children. Here are some ways that you can help:

  1. Meal Preparation: Mealtime can be a bit chaotic when there are kids running around, vying for your attention. Whip up your favorite dish and drop it off at their home. Having one less meal to cook will be greatly appreciated. Don’t forget to ask the parents if anyone in the family has any dietary restrictions!
  2. Grocery Shopping: Ask the parents for a list, grab a cart, and hit the aisles! This is something you could do on a regular basis or every once in a while. Buying a family’s weekly groceries can be a big blessing for their schedule and their finances.
  3. Babysitting: Give the parents a night off by offering to watch their kids for a few hours! Babysitting allows the parents to take a break, rest, and get some much-needed time for themselves. According to Washington State Legislation, children can be left under another’s watch for up to 72 hours, for regular childhood activities. But if a baby-sitter regularly watches a child once or twice a week, they will need to have a background check clearance. One option is to volunteer as a childcare provider with City Ministries! If you are interested, please fill out our interest form.
  4. Respite Care: As a respite provider, you will care for children on weekends and/or during special respite care requests. Respite gives foster parents a break and promotes longevity. Respite providers need to go through the same licensing process as those intending to be full-time foster parents. The bond that children form with respite providers is special and worth going through the licensing process for. To find out more about respite care, check out this blog post.
  5. Transportation: Many families with children under 16 spend a lot of time in the car driving to schools, sports practices, and other activities. A great way to lend your time is to offer to drive their child once a week (or more) to the various activities they participate in. If you will be driving the children regularly, you will need to receive a background check clearance (WA State Legislation).
  6. Donation Boxes: Another great way to help a foster family is by giving a donation box of items that a child may need at the time of placement. There are some ideas of items to have in the boxes listed here but feel free to get creative and add your own items!

There are many other ways that you can serve and bless foster families! Something as simple as cooking dinner or driving a child to soccer practice can go a long way.

Honestly Adoption, Kristin Berry

WA State Legislation – Prudent Parenting

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