By Lauren Hollon Sturdy
You've probably heard a lot about foster care during the month of May, National Foster Care Month. But you may be saying, “I just don’t feel like our family is called to foster.”
That's perfectly fine! Foster care truly is a ministry – one that many people are not called to pursue. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways you can minister to foster families and support them in their calling:
• Offer to babysit – Babysitting foster children does require some time spent in training and certification, but it is a huge help to parents who might need a night or weekend “off.”
• Help around the house – When you’ve got a full house, the laundry pile starts to look like Mt. Everest, and requires nearly as much stamina to conquer! Mowing, cooking a meal or even offering to spend an hour helping clean the house are all great ways to assist foster families in their work when life starts getting the best of them.
• Provide emergency supplies – Sometimes foster parents take children with very little notice of their arrival. You can offer your crib that’s sitting in storage or be an extra set of hands and make a quick trip to the store for necessities.
• Help with the “extras” – The stipends foster parents receive cover the bare minimum – clothes and food, and sometimes it doesn’t even cover all of that. Any "extras" come out of foster families’ pockets, and these are often things most families take for granted, like haircuts, birthday presents, prom dresses, football cleats, ballet lessons, entry to a basketball game, and many others.
• Transportation and carpooling – With a million different places to be at once, foster families can always use an extra set of wheels.
• Prayer – Partner together with a foster family you know to support them in prayer, because goodness knows they need it daily!
Got other practical ideas? Let us know in the comments!
To find out more about helping out foster families in your area, visit www.beafamily.org.