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  • Writer's picture Harlie Cloyd


Updated: Apr 1, 2020

I have people tell me all the time how much they want to foster someday, but, for whatever reason, opening their home right now is not an option.

If that sounds like you, this one's for you...

I can think of at least 15 ways in which you can help a foster child/family, and every single one of them is equally as important as opening your home.

When we first became foster parents, we kind of expected we would mostly be going it alone. Outside of our own parents’ help and support, we didn’t expect much other than prayers and random words of encouragement from everyone else in our life.

Boy, were we wrong.

Within 2 days of our first placement arriving on our doorstep, we had car seats, toys, diapers, and closets full of clothes. Our first placement came to us with nothing but the clothes on their backs. They needed everything, and our community provided them with it all.

We were shocked and overwhelmed with gratitude with the amount of support the girls received.

Also, it’s a scary, and oftentimes incredibly lonely, world being a foster parent, which is why it was so encouraging to know how many people were backing us in our journey.

If you feel convicted to help children in foster care, but aren’t able to open your home now, or ever, you can still make a huge difference in the life of a child.

Here’s how...

  1. You can donate used suitcases to your local foster closet so children in foster care can be spared their dignity when moving to a new placement.

  2. You can volunteer to become a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) and advocate for kids in care within the court system.

  3. You can mentor teenagers in care who need to know basic life skills before they are pushed out into the world on their own.

  4. You can donate clothes, shoes, toys, car seats, beds, high chairs, diapers, sports gear, etc. to kids in care.

  5. You can encourage your children to befriend kids in care who may have challenging behaviors.

  6. You can offer free babysitting to foster parents.

  7. You can bring a foster family a meal when they first receive a placement or on a day when their foster children have visits with their biological families.

  8. You can educate yourself on trauma and then use what you learn to better your interactions with foster families and children.

  9. You can offer your photography skills so kids in care can have professional milestone photos to take with them wherever they go.

  10. You can fund raise for organizations that support foster children and families.

  11. You can vote in ways which support foster children and families.

  12. You can invite former foster teens who have aged out of the system over to your home for the holidays.

  13. You can work on having compassion for biological families, and if you know any personally, support them in their efforts to get their children back. (At the end of the day, the only thing that separates you from them, is privilege)

  14. You can pray fervently for foster children, foster parents, foster siblings, social workers, judges, biological families, counselors, and everyone involved in the system to make decisions in the best interest of the children in care.

  15. You can be a voice of encouragement and a face to trust for in the lives of children and families within the foster care world.

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