Foster Friendly Communities

“As adults we choose whether or not to enter this foster care world and face these fears. A child, however, does not have a choice. Who is better-equipped to shoulder these burdens?”

– Foster Dad

Why Foster Families Need A Foster Friendly Community

My husband and I have five children currently in our home. 

I got a text from a local DCS office asking us to take in a very large sibling set in the middle of the night. I couldn’t get the picture out of my head of these kids being separated. I just put myself in their shoes, and after that, I couldn’t say no. 

So we said “Yes.” It was super late at night, We were unsure how in the world we were going to manage it.

We did a real life trust fall, hoping that our community would say YES right alongside us.

How A Foster Friendly Community Helps Foster Families Thrive

What does a Foster Friendly Community look like and how does it make a difference?

Here are a few examples from this family’s story (above):

1

Someone dropped off a 15-passenger van for them to use while caring for the sibling group.

2

Other folks organized, prepared and delivered meals.

3

Friends took the kids shopping, to the movies and to the park.

4

Neighbors showed up to help rock babies, clean bathrooms and mow the yard.

Foster Friendly communities take local businesses, faith communities and civic groups saying yes to supporting their amazing friends and neighbors who provide kinship and foster care. Together a community’s support lightens the load for foster parents of caring for traumatized kids (on a moment’s notice) and makes it more likely that they’ll continue to say yes knowing they’re not in it alone.

“Supporting kids and families in foster care is more than a heart decision, it’s a smart decision.”

– Brian Mavis, Co-Founder, America’s Kids Belong

Caring for Kids In Foster Care Is A Responsibility We All Share

It’s impossible to understate the effect on a child of aging out of foster care without a family…and on the adult they will become.
The lifelong adverse effects are wide-ranging and staggering. Foster care is a “root cause” of many of society’s deepest social wounds.

Foster care often leads to other long-term social wounds

Behind these worrisome outcomes are hurting, vulnerable kids, who as young adults find themselves in hard places through no fault of their own. Every one of these kids has a name, a story, hopes and dreams–most of which will remain unfulfilled if no one stands in the gap to provide a stable home environment and family.

The challenges of today’s foster care system ripple into the vitality of our communities as a whole. Every child who ages out of foster care without a family will incur an average of $300,000 in social services over his or her lifetime. And that’s just the tangible cost.

What is the impact when kids age out of foster care without connection to a family?

26,000 kids

Age out of the U.S. foster
care system each year

x
$300,000

Lifetime social-service cost
per child

=
$7.8B

Source: Annie E. Casey Foundation

Foster Friendly Business

If your business operates in one of our 10 participating states* learn how you can join our Foster Friendly movement.

Foster Friendly Faith

We are inviting faith communities nationwide to embrace the 3 best practices that make a faith community supportive and welcoming to kinship and foster families.