National Foster Care Month has come and gone. However, the need for foster parents continues throughout the year. At the Coalition, we continue to receive calls and email inquiries from prospective foster families; which is great news because families are reaching out for resources and the next steps to continue their fostering journeys. Are you receiving calls and/or emails from prospective foster parents? We hope your answer is a resounding, “Yes!” But if that is not the case, the following are some ideas for your review and consideration.

Appreciating & Supporting Your Licensed Foster Families
During this time of uncertainty due to the corona virus, reaching out to and checking in with your licensed foster parents can go a long way in reinforcing that you are there to listen, offer support, and offer resources. After all, as Denise Goodman, Phd, recently stated in one of her recent training events, “Our families need us now more than ever.” Consider mailing a card letting your foster families know that you and your agency are thinking of them and greatly appreciate all they do to support the children and youth in their care.

Encourage families to connect with one through online support groups, or by reaching out to one another with phone calls. Maintaining socially safe connections can go a long way to creating and maintaining supportive family connections. In addition, families can share helpful parenting resources with one another. You could email your families a helpful parenting resources article or a self-care resource. If you are in need of resources, know that you can reach out to the Coalition. We are here to support all of your families as well as you and your colleagues.

Informing Your Communities that Foster Families are Needed
  • Social media can be a helpful resource to consider using to inform your community that foster parents are needed to keep children and youth connected to their families, schools, and support networks. 
  • You might also consider reaching out to news media outlets in your county to share some much needed positive news stories about the positive impacts foster parents have on the lives of children and their families.
  • Explore ways in which you can partner with your existing families and Foster Parent Champions in order to maximize the benefits of family-to-family recruitment.
  • Inform prospective families that, if they have been thinking about being a foster parent, now is a good time to start the process.
  • Stay in contact with prospective foster families and continue to encourage them throughout each step of the licensing process.