Holly and Lance
It really does take a village to raise a child. When the family is not there or otherwise fails the child, the rest of us can do whatever possible to make sure these kids get a decent upbringing, a family to give them love and wipe their tears and comfort them in the scary nights. I cannot be one of those families and I feel the need to do what I can to help the families that do step up. Families need help with everything from the physical needs of the child (clothing, toys, school supplies) to the emotional needs of the family (occasional R&R for parents, activities, etc.). If I can do a little to help with that, it makes me happy.
We donate to Foster Family Assist because we believe ALL children are important. Kids in foster care are in especially difficult situations. The families that volunteer to support and love them are the key to their well-being and deserve all the help we can give them. So we love the idea of helping these hero families to survive and persevere and even have some fun. It’s sort of like making a bigger family of the heart – from us to them to the kids they are sheltering.
In 2012 I started my own foster care agency called Courage Community Foster Care. We have a small tribe (a growing small tribe!) of about 20 foster families. I know all of our families well, and we can give each other what we need to keep all of our kids in care until permanency can be reached. But I know that there are thousands more foster families in our state who may not have a high level of support. I receive referrals every day for children who are being moved from foster home to foster home. I believe that if we can offer tangible assistance to foster families early on before they reach their breaking point, we can drastically reduce foster care disruption.
I didn’t get into this work for money. I have enough for my agency and my family. As for the extra, why not use it to make our kids’ lives a little better? I’m in this for ALL foster kids in our state, not just ‘mine’. I say, share the wealth.
Kerri Hankin MSW