Authored by: Teresa Cocker, Chief Program Officer
May is National Foster Care Month and I have taken this time to reflect on the many ways that I have seen people making positive connections with children in foster care. Teachers, coaches, foster parents, birth parents, relatives, friends, former foster youth, social workers, I could go on and on. This list is really just a snapshot of the team of people who rally around foster children and their families to support them to reach stability and permanency as quickly and safely as possible. Additional supports are seen in an informal way – family friends, neighbors, faith-based organizations – these are equally important in supporting both birth families and foster families.
The number of children in foster care is rising and so is the need for foster parents. This is the case nationally, statewide and locally in our community. In Waukesha County alone, there are over 150 children placed in foster care and 20 of those children are placed outside of the county due to a lack of local resources.
It is important to note that foster parenting is not for everyone – but everyone can help in some way. Below are some examples – with varying degrees of commitment – of ways that people can get involved to support children in foster care :
- Apply to become a foster parent
- Distribute recruitment materials to places you frequent, family and friends
- Provide respite for a foster family
- Donate items for children and families
- Volunteer your time and talents at Norris
To learn more about ways to help, visit the “Ways to Help” section on our website.
Thank you to all of the foster parents out there, and to their support systems for providing safe homes for children.