Five Ways to Lend a Hand

It’s been a whirlwind few weeks over here! One thing you can be sure of if you ever become a resource parent – life is no longer predictable. Regardless, when a new kiddo enters your home, the support pours in. At least, I hope it does for you, too!

I had a little peanut join our family for a few short days this week for an emergency placement and boy, my support system showed up. Here at LSI, we truly have the best support workers. Within an hour of a new placement arriving, my support worker was arriving with some much-needed supplies. This got me thinking: How can I give back and help other resource families in need? What sort of things would I need or want when I’m caring for a new child or going through a major change? Here’s my list of five simple ways you can lend a hand to a resource family you know!

1. Volunteer to foster care causes – The gift of time is at the top of the list. There are so many wonderful organizations and support groups, both locally and a national level. Consider donating your time! My wonderful sister chose to volunteer her time to a local foster/adoptive support group by calling potential monetary donors. She was so helpful and was able to provide support while still staying within her own home. Check with your local resource closets to see if they are needing certain new/gently used clothing donations. In my area of the state, Kings and Queens Local is a foster care cause near and dear to my heart. They have offered me so much support. Foster the Family is also a national foster care cause that does so much!

2. Run an errand – Check in and see what the foster family needs. Can you drop a child off to school? Grab some coffee? Mow the lawn? My best friend stopped to check in during the first few days of my new placement. First thing she did: started folding laundry. She’s such a gift!

3. Check in – The value of a simple “How are you?” message can’t be measured. As I’ve mentioned on previous blogs, foster parenting can feel isolating. I encourage you to just reach out and check in.

4. Become a respite provider – Now this one is a pretty big commitment, but if you feel compelled to help children in need but do not feel you’re at the point to become a foster/adoptive home, respite may be the perfect option! Respite homes go through the same process as foster/adoptive homes. You take classes, have background checks, and complete home studies. Respite providers are so needed. I have done respite for three different children/sibling groups and have loved it each time. Respite providers support children in foster care at a pre-planned time. Maybe the foster family is going on a three-day vacation and the children are staying home. Maybe the foster parent has to go pick up a family member at the airport and does not want to bring the child in the car that long. Or maybe the foster parent simply needs a moment to rest. Enter here, the hero of the story: the respite provider! Reach out to LSI if you’re interested in learning more.

5. Pray, send good vibes, and channel love – Finally, I encourage you to remember resource families in whatever spiritual rituals you do. If you pray, please consider praying for the children in care, the foster families, biological families, support workers, therapists, DHS workers, and lawyers. It’s a hard process for all involved. Whether you pray, send out positive vibes, or simply channel love from your heart, please consider doing so for those who could really use it.

By Anne Peters, LMFT

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