Becoming a foster parent can seem like a daunting and scary decision. Many people express the thought that they “could never be a foster parent” because of all the various challenges, not the least of which is the possibility of having to say good-bye to a child you’ve come to love. While I hope many of the quality people who have expressed this worry do choose to open their hearts and homes to children in foster care, I understand that first developing some familiarity of the world of foster care may be a helpful.
In order to understand more about the foster care system, I suggest getting involved in an advocacy organization.
This way, you can support the needs of foster children while learning more about foster care and foster parenting. There are two nation-wide foster care advocacy groups in particular that are doing great work for foster children and have many opportunities for involvement, Together We Rise and The Forgotten Initiative.
Together We Rise
Together We Rise was founded in 2008 by Danny Mendoza. Mendoza was unable to become a foster parent to his young homeless cousin because he was under 21, so he decided to create a place where passionate people of any age could help children in foster care without becoming foster parents. Today, Together We Rise provides duffle bags, bikes, and scholarships to youth in foster care who may not otherwise have access to these things. Volunteers can sign up to participate in events, as well as host their own event. Together We Rise is meeting real, tangible needs of youth in foster care and you can help! Visit their website for more information on how to get involved.
The Forgotten Initiative (TFI) is an organization that provides resources, support, and connections for those who are interested in advocating and caring for children in foster care. TFI helps individuals and churches connect to and build successful ministries that support those directly involved in foster care. TFI seeks to plug individuals and churches into their three main initiatives which include service projects, mentoring opportunities, and family support. Those interested in getting involved can connect with a local TFI ministry group, or get more information about starting a ministry group to support the local needs of the foster care community. Find out more on their website.
There are many ways to get involved in foster care, even if you aren’t certain you are ready to become a foster parent. Check out these great advocacy groups or contact a foster care agency in your area to find out how you can support the foster care community!