If you weren’t already aware, volunteering makes you happy and healthier! If you’ve felt called to help youth in need, volunteering at your local child welfare organization provides a huge help to social workers, children and families. Volunteers play an important role in the lives of youth in foster care in numerous ways, no matter what your skill set is. Here are a few ways volunteering can help children and teens in need.
1. Use Your Creative Talents to Connect Children With Families
Volunteering doesn’t have to be limited to sorting items or helping out with an event. If you have a creative pursuit, did you know you can use it to raise awareness about the need for more foster families and even connect children with families? For example, if you enjoy the visual arts, volunteer your time to take high-quality pictures or video of youth waiting to be adopted, which is a great way to help match a child with the right family. Are you a good writer? Write a moving Facebook post or reach out to guest blog on behalf of a child welfare organization. The options are limitless!
2. Mentor a Child or Teen to Inspire Hope
If you ask someone how they became successful in life, you’re likely going to hear how an influential mentor helped them reach their potential. Mentoring has the power to make a huge difference in the life of a child. Mentors offer steady support, hope, guidance and critical encouragement. Even research backs this up, as a mentor increases a student’s chances of going to college by 50 percent, and children and teens in a mentoring program are 46 percent less likely to use drugs.
3. Provide Evening or Weekend Care for Children or Teens
Everyone needs a break sometimes, and foster parents who provide a safe home for children who have experienced abuse or neglect are no exception. If you want to foster or adopt a child but aren’t sure if it’s right for you and your family, consider completing the training classes to become a licensed caregiver. This will allow you to provide temporary care to children and teens while their foster parents take a break for a day or two. This gives foster parents some needed downtime so they can continue to do the best job possible. In addition, there are several opportunities to provide childcare year-round that don’t require you to attend training classes. Click here to let us know how you’d like to help!
At KVC West Virginia we’re always looking for volunteers to help throughout the year. We are a nonprofit organization serving thousands of West Virginian children and families facing mental health challenges, poverty, and other types of childhood adversity. Want to volunteer with us? Let us know about it!