Foster families have many needs. The church and the people within can get involved in many ways and a support ministry in the church is a great way to introduce people to the foster care world. Below are three ideas that a church can use to minister to foster families.
A great way to come together as a church and support a foster family is to provide a special baby dedication service for a child recently placed in a home. Corporate prayer is a powerful weapon against Satan and showing solidarity as a church to come together and raise this child and shower him or her in the love of God can impact the child’s life more than anything else.
Foster families need prayer warriors in their lives. Let’s face it, all families, foster or not, need prayer warriors in their lives. There are many spiritual, material and emotional needs in every family and foster families have the legal system and biological parents to deal with as extra layers in their lives. Setting up a prayer team of 2 or 3 people to get involved in a foster family’s life and consistently praying for them will not only help with needs but will form relationships between those praying and the foster family that will provide comfort and assistance in times of struggle. Prayer teams need to also make sure to pray fervently for the biological parents as they work to get their parental rights fully reinstated. This is a very hard road for most in that situation and for many of them, having their child taken away is their rock bottom.
Most of the time when a child is placed in a home, it is on very short notice and every time it is a surprise. Many of these children come into the new home with nothing but the clothes on their backs. Their favorite stuffed animal they sleep with every night is still back in the bed from which they were removed just hours ago while the rest of the neighborhood were peacefully sleeping. There was no time to pack a bag or put on any other clothes besides the pajamas they were sleeping in.
For the families who have a baby placed in their home , there are many specific needs such as bottles, bibs, blankets, swings, bouncy seats, cribs and a myriad of other things needed to take care of a baby. Now there is a monthly stipend for most foster families but it is never enough to cover all the needs and for most states the first stipend doesn’t even arrive until 4-6 weeks after the placement!
Starting a supply closet would help alleviate some of the pressure that is experienced in the first few weeks of a placement. The needs are great and the resources are few. It would only take someone willing to give up some space in their garage or maybe renting a storage room and having an organization system to shelve and inventory the items. Some churches have extra space in their buildings or with a quick clean up to a storage room can turn the room into a place of ministry and support.
These are just three simple ideas that your church can start quickly to help support foster families in the area. They need a lot of love and care and looking out for their needs makes it easier for them to pour their lives into the child who has the greatest need of love and safety in a cruel and undeserving situation. My prayer is that you read this little post and decide to get involved somehow. If you have any questions on how to get started please feel free to contact me here.
What other ideas do you have to take care of Foster Families in your area?