There’s no shortage of ways to help children in West Virginia foster care. Fortunately, several options are open to you if you’re affiliated with a church or other religious institution. Your place of worship provides numerous possibilities to make positive changes in the lives of children in foster care. In fact, religious institutions were some of the earliest resources for children in need, and they continue to play a very important role in the foster care system to this day. Here are five ways your place of worship can help children in foster care.
Host Family Support Groups
Your place of worship is a great choice for holding support groups for foster parents. Foster parents face highly stressful situations on a daily basis, whether that means parenting a child, driving kids to school and appointments, or complying with legal requirements. Providing an outlet for them to connect and share with others going through similar situations can give them the drive to keep doing a great job.
Create Volunteer Opportunities
Foster parents are often pressed for time when it comes to completing daily tasks. You can use your place of worship to organize teams of volunteers who can jump in and knock a few things off of a foster parent’s to-do list. This could involve running errands to the grocery store, mowing the yard, cleaning house and a host of other possibilities.
Organize Donation Drives
Sometimes a child who enters foster care has very few possessions and no dignified way of carrying their belongings. This can add to any anxiety and trauma they may already be experiencing. Donation drives help alleviate shortages of resources for a child while they’re in foster care. A variety of goods are always acceptable, including suitcases and toys during the holidays. Contact KVC if you decide to donate through your place of worship in West Virginia.
Mentor and Support Children About to Age Out of Foster Care
Nearly 30,000 youth age out foster care each year without a permanent family or home. They leave the system without the resources needed to succeed in society. Through your religious institution, you can organize mentoring programs that can focus on a range of skills, from academics to basic life skills. Also, statistically less than 3% of children aging out of foster care will earn a college degree. Because of this, you may want to consider setting up a college fund to help with expenses.
Certify Babysitters and Provide Daycare/After-School Child Care
Many foster parents have difficulty finding people who can babysit. This is because it’s illegal for an un-licensed individual to look after a child in foster care. Your place of worship can assist in this demand by providing classes that lead to certification. Once individuals have completed the steps to becoming certified, consider opening up your facilities for daycare and other after-school care programs. This would be an immense help for foster parents who sometimes have more on their plate than they can manage.
These are only a few of the many ways your place of worship can help. If you’d like your organization to get involved, contact us and one of our specialists will help right away!
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