Life Before, During And After Foster Care


I was a foster kid and now a kinship parent. My life before, during, & after foster care taught me a lot. Here's insight into the lives of the foster kids and foster parents of foster care.

5 Places You Can Donate To Help Foster Kids

 As we're shopping for others or ourselves, we often forget about those that are really in need. We can make excuses but think how much you spent on Christmas.. could you afford an extra present or two for a child in foster care that may be getting nothing? What if I told you some kids were only asking for a football or school supplies, new shoes or a coat? It's quick and easy to make an impact. Here are 5 places you can make a worthwhile donation to support foster kids:

One Simple Wish
 This is probably my favorite way to donate online! Wouldn’t  it be cool to see exactly what your money is doing to help foster kids. What if there was a website that was easy to use, with a list of wishes foster kids had? One Simple Wish is just that,  an awesome way to directly help kids in foster care. They have set up a website where you can browse through hundreds of wishes posted on behalf of foster and at risk kids across the U.S. There are a wide variety of wishes being asked for all under $500 and some as low as $10. Many items being  asked for are simple things  like new shoes or school supplies. To browse through wishes click here.

Dave Thomas Foundation
 Moving out of my group home, it was hard knowing that I was leaving my younger brothers behind. Even though our foster home was really great, no kid should have to spend their childhood in foster care. Sadly there are stigmas and misconceptions about kids in foster care that make some people think foster kids will be problematic. Sometimes the process can have some red tape and sometimes more needs to be done to make sure kids are getting adopted by permanent loving homes.

 The Dave Thomas Foundations envisions every child having a permanent loving home. They don't believe that children should spend a long amount of time in foster care or age out without family at 18. They believe every child is adoptable and work hard to find homes for those waiting to be adopted from foster care. They inform about the misconceptions of foster care adoption, provide free educational resources, promote awareness, and assist policy makers and employers across the use and Canada. To help the Dave Thomas Foundation in their cause click here to donate.

CASA
 The National Casa Association is a nationwide program that recruits, trains, and supports volunteers that represent the best interest of the children in foster care in court rooms and other meetings. Their volunteers spend time with the foster kids, meet the parents and get to know everyone involved in the case. They then speak on behalf of the child’s best interest in the case.

 I personally know a couple people that volunteer for CASA and have a lot of respect for those that want to give back in this way. There are a lot of emotional hardships especially for those that aren't familiar with how the system (or those involved in it) operates. As a foster kid I can recall looking at everyone involved in my case and thinking "All these people are paid to do a job". The goal of their job may not be what a foster kid feels is in their best interest. As a foster kid it's nice to know someone like a CASA volunteer, somebody with no agenda, is on your side. To help CASA speak out for the best interest of kids in foster care click here to donate.

Foster Care Alumni of America

 As many people already know, networking with those going through similar issues can be a tremendous boost. That's part of the reason I started ImAFoster.com. It helps emotionally to know that others are going through some of the same situations and that many have made it through. It helps foster kids discover things other foster kids have found out to become successful and achieve their goals. Also anytime you get a bunch of people from the same situation together you get ideas and push to create change. How better represents those in the foster care system more that those that have been foster kids themselves?

 Foster Care Alumni of America was been founded and is led by alumni of the foster care system. They are a national non profit that provides opportunities for foster care alumni to interact and they also work to transform the foster care system. Foster Care Alumni of America share alumni stories, participate in events and chat rooms, attend meeting, and continue to build networks across the nation. They work to influence practice and policy in foster care through participation in committees, providing training to those working with foster kids and by raising public awareness about issues kids in foster care face. To help support Foster Care Alumni of America click here to donate.

Foster Care To Success
 Imagine going out into the world on your own as a foster kid. No family support system or real guidance. Most foster kids will face obstacles such as poverty, homelessness, and mental health issues. Many know that getting a better education can get them a better paying job, a better lifestyle, a life not on assistance. There are so many obstacles for a foster kid looking to continue their education after high school.

 That's where Foster to Success comes in. They are the largest national nonprofit that works solely with college bound foster kids. For over 30 years they have been helping foster kids navigate academics, teach the importance of financial responsibility, and determine their career goals. Since 1981 Foster to success has helped over 50,000 foster children transition from foster care to adulthood. To help Foster to Success and college bound foster youth receive their education click here to donate.

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