There are over 400,000 children in foster care in the United States alone, and over 110,000 of those kids are waiting for adoption. November is National Adoption Month, and we want to inform you about several different ways to support foster care and adoption. Some people are ready to adopt or foster now; others are not quite ready to take that leap and are more prepared to volunteer and support adoptive and foster parents around them. Whether you are prepared to adopt today or are terrified by that thought, you can make an impact on foster children in your area. Check out these tips for ways you can help today:
Become a Foster Parent
If you live in Northwest Arkansas and are interested in welcoming a foster child into your family, The CALL is a beautiful place to start. They take an eight-week DHS training and consolidate it into two weekends to quickly and efficiently train families for the challenges of fostering. They also provide you with an immediate support system, something that is vital to fostering. If you live outside of Arkansas, several other states have created similar organizations to help train families and ensure that no child falls through the cracks of the foster care system.
While some families are prepared to jump into fostering, many families are interested in helping but cannot currently foster. Luckily, there is a multitude of other ways to help. For example, there are numerous organizations related to foster care that are taking volunteers. The CALL has volunteers provide child care during their training sessions. Project Zero has volunteers drive children to photoshoots for the Arkansas Heart Gallery. Whether you are interested in volunteering once for a few hours or regularly for 15 hours a week, there is a volunteer opportunity out there for you. For more volunteer opportunities, click here.
Support Foster and Adoptive Families
Another great way to help within the foster care system is to support foster and adoptive families. Bringing new members into your family is a complicated and often expensive process. Look for opportunities to donate furniture to families who added a foster child and need a bed for them to sleep in. Check-in on your friends who foster or adopt and see what you can do to help relieve them of the stresses they feel each day. Most people know someone who is fostering or who has adopted, which is often the most comfortable place to begin to help.