How Your Acts Of Service Help Foster Families Thrive

We love the idea of wrapping around and providing a support system for foster families.

– Mareshah Haapala, The Bend Church in Cookeville, TN

(See video below.)

What Is The Role Of The Church In Caring For And Retaining Foster Families?

Half of new foster families quit in the first year, often citing a lack of community support. Caring for vulnerable kids is hard work, especially for busy families who already have kids on the run. Supporting families in your congregation — and ultimately — community, who are doing this valuable work of investing in the healing and well-being of children in foster care is an tangible and powerful way to put your members’ hands and feet to James 1:27.

Where do you begin? Our recommendation is to start with the kinship, foster and adoptive families already attending. See how they are doing. Ask what they need. And build a grassroots response tailored to the needs and culture of your community’s culture.

America’s Kids Belong offers free resources to help, from a family assessment survey you can use within your community to free guides that help you take action on the best practices of a Foster Friendly Community, as defined below.

When you implement at least two of these best practices you’re eligible to join our Foster Friendly App and connect with well over 11,000 kinship foster families nationwide, letting them know that your faith community is a safe, welcoming and supportive place for their families.

Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.

James 1:27

These Faith Communities Are Supporting And Retaining The Foster Families They Serve

The Bend Church
  • WRAP Team
  • Childcare Support
Flatirons Church, Haven
  • Respite care
  • Tutoring
Ridgedale Baptist Church
  • Trauma Aware
  • WRAP Teams
Matthews House
  • Mentoring kids in foster care

What Does It Mean For Your Faith Community To Become Foster Friendly?

Here Are The 3 Best Practices To Become A Foster Friendly Faith Community.

Trauma Aware

Ensure volunteers in child and youth ministry are trauma aware.

Offer trauma awareness training to staff, children / youth staff and volunteers annually to help prepare them to respond appropriately to trauma-related responses with kids in their care.

Support Ministry

Provide ongoing ministry to kinship, / foster families.

Maintain a ministry that supports foster, kinship and adoptive families. Effective ministries include WRAP teams, Foster Parents’ Night Out and Foster Parent Support Groups. America’s Kids Belong offers ideas and tools for all of these programs.

Teach On Foster Care

Preach on faith and foster care/ adoption annually.

Teach in a main gathering on God’s heart for vulnerable children and families and give people an opportunity to respond. People of faith are significantly more likely to say yes to foster care and adoption than the general population.

Commit To 2 Of These 3 Best Practices To Join Our Foster Friendly App.

Maybe you’re already doing these things. If so, sign the pledge to start the process to join our app. If you’re just starting to explore foster care as a ministry focus, we’re here to help you get started.

How Foster Friendly Faith Helps Families, One Mom Shares Her Experience

Since we’ve certified we’ve been supported by the WRAP team at our church. The biggest thing they do for our family, because it’s what we need, are meals. Basically we get a meal every night for the first week we take a placement. They’ve brought in groceries, encouraging letters, they pray for us, they’ve brought Christmas presents for all the kiddos…they do a lot of things, including laundry. WRAP has helped feel like we can thrive as a family. You can run on empty and burn out in a year or you can accept help and keep going … with the help of your community. And all those people will be inspired…to step up and help in other ways. It’s so much more that the simple act of service. It’s saying, “We see you. You are doing a lot.”

— Abby Koenigseker, foster mom

Engage Your Faith Leaders To Explore Foster Friendly

This flyer was created for you to take to your faith community leadership to start a conversation about what it would like to become Foster Friendly.