Foster parents have always had to juggle multiple duties and responsibilities and those roles and responsibilities have increased due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. In our new reality of social distancing to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe, we can’t lose sight of the importance of social connections. Social distancing does not mean social isolation. Maintaining connections with all of your foster parents is as important now as it has ever been. It may be the opportune time to reach out to the foster parents you support and express your genuine gratitude and appreciation for all that they do. Following are a few ideas you might try:

  • Make use of technology options available. Social media platforms or apps like Skype, Facetime, Zoom and others to keep in "face to face" contact with your foster parents.

  • Email your foster parents and send them a photo of yourself with a "thank you" sign. You could also enlist your colleagues to take similar photos.

  • Call your foster parents and ask them how they are doing.

  • Send a card or letter letting your foster parents know that you are thinking of them and are grateful that they are providing a safe and loving home for youth in their care.

  • Perhaps consider providing a virtual video or teleconference connection option for foster parents to maintain connections with one another.

  • If your county or licensing agency has had an in-person foster parent support group, you might consider ways that group could continue to meet in an online capacity.

Remember that we are all in this together. Reaching out to your prospective foster parents and your licensed foster parents can go a long way to letting them know that you and your colleagues care about and appreciate foster parents for all they do each and every day. A little effort to express your appreciation can have a big impact--now maybe more than ever.