5. There are foster children in your community. I think many times people assume that foster kids are only in big cities. It seems that this assumption comes from a misunderstanding of the system. People seem to think that the issues that cause a child to be taken into foster care only happen in very urban areas, but that’s not true. Unfortunately, children live in unsafe situations in all sorts of communities. You can find agencies in your county and work to help the children of your own community by becoming a foster parent.

4. You can help stop the cycle. Often, the parents of children in foster care were once part of the system themselves. Unhealthy parenting cycles or relationships are modeled for these children, so that’s all they know. Then, once they grow up, they continue the pattern in their own lives. The system exists to help families break these cycles, and you can be a part of that in a family. Offering safety to a child and opening their world up to other options for their life is such a meaningful way to show them they are loved and valued.

3. You are able. So many people tell me that they could never be a foster parent. I rarely agree with them. Foster parenting is certainly challenging, but it is not impossible. Children in foster care need love, safety, boundaries, and someone who cares enough to make sure they get to school or the doctor. If you can provide those things, you can be a foster parent. It will take some training and a lot of learning about what these kids have gone through and how that affects their thoughts and behaviors, but you can do it.

2. You are needed. There are over 400,000 children in the foster care system in the United States at any given time. Hundreds of thousands of children need safety and love. Some may return to their birth homes or go to live with a relative, and some may need to be adopted. But they all need a safe and stable home for at least a little while. They are just children. They need you.

1. Foster children deserve a childhood. All children enter foster care because they have experienced some trauma. Most of these kids are too scared or confused or hurt to wonder what they are going to be when they grow up. Children shouldn’t have to worry if they are going to be left alone, or if they are going to eat today, or if they are safe. Repeated trauma steals their childhood. Foster parents can help restore some of what has been lost or broken. We can provide a safe place, but the kids in sports teams, and encourage them to dream.

Do you feel there is a hole in your heart that can only be filled by a child? We’ve helped complete 32,000+ adoptions. We would love to help you through your adoption journey. Visit Adoption.org or call 1-800-ADOPT-98.