Other Ways to Get Involved with Foster Care

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It’s a life-changing decision to become a foster parent, providing a safe place and 24/7 support for young people who have experienced abuse, neglect or other family challenges. It takes an enormous amount of patience and commitment, and not everyone is called to be a foster parent. However, there are plenty of other ways you can help a child or teen in foster care.

Become a respite care provider

Respite care provides short-term, quality care to children in foster care who are already placed with a foster family. Respite care offers a safe setting for children in foster care and also provides temporary relief for foster parents, enabling them to take a break from the demands of caregiving. Whether it's for just a few hours a week or an extended vacation, respite care can help relive stress, restore energy and promote balance in a foster family. It can also prevent foster parents from becoming exhausted, isolated or even burned out. Respite care can benefit the child in foster care too, providing them with a wider network of love and support. Respite care helps make the caregiving journey a more comfortable experience for both foster families and the children in their care and enhances the quality of life for the entire family. 

If you've been thinking about fostering but you're not quite ready to take the plunge, providing respite care at first may be a way to test the waters. You can choose when you're available to take in children, so the schedule can be very flexible. Respite care requires certification and training, just as a "regular" foster parent does, so you'll learn what types of behaviors you can expect and handle. And the best way to meet a child's specific needs has largely been ironed out by the time a foster family seeks respite care, so fewer surprises are in store for respite care providers. 

Attend Foster Care Orientation to learn how you can become a certified respite care provider. You can give the gift of loving respite care to a foster family and (most importantly!) a child. Check out our calendar to view scheduled upcoming orientations.

Become a child care provider

By becoming a child care provider and offering child care to children in foster care, we can eliminate a barrier for many people who are considering becoming a foster family. Learn more by visiting our Weld Child Care website at https://www.weldchildcare.com.

Make a donation to Realities For Children

Weld County is proud to partner with Realities For Children, a 501(c)3 charitable organization, to collect monetary and item donations for our children and teens in foster care. Your gift provides emergency funding to Weld County youth who have been abused, neglected or are at-risk. All donations are tax deductible, and 100% of your donation goes directly to help our children and teens in foster care.

How to make a monetary donation:

  1. Go to https://www.realitiesforchildren.com and click on the red DONATE button at the top right-hand corner. 
  2. Enter the donation amount on the next page. In the "My donation is for" drop-down box, please select Weld County. This will ensure that 100% of your donation comes directly to Weld County Department of Human Services' foster care program.
  3. Complete the contact information and billing address sections, then click ENTER PAYMENT.
  4. Smile, knowing your gift will make a positive, life-long impact on our community's most vulnerable and hurting members. Thank you so much!

How to make an item donation:

  1. Go to https://www.realitiesforchildren.com and click on the red DONATE button at the top right-hand corner.
  2. In the third introductory paragraph, click HERE (For item donation needs, please visit HERE.)
  3. Review the list of new items accepted for specific events and throughout the year. Larger, gently used items like beds, strollers, cribs, high-chairs, Pack 'n Plays, appliances or other household items can also be donated. Check their website for more information.

Even more ways to help

  • Volunteer your photography skills for the Colorado Heart Gallery. Photo listings of young people in foster care are often used as recruitment tools to display to potential families. Sometimes, a photo that captures the personality of a child or teen is what can tug on a potential parent's heart. If you're willing to donate your talent and time, email dlvanovich@adoptex.org to learn more about volunteering for the Colorado Heart Gallery. 
  • Host the Heart Gallery. The Colorado Heart Gallery needs businesses, churches, nonprofits and high-traffic venues to host their photography displays and raise awareness about adoption through the foster care system. Email dlvanovich@adoptex.org for more information.
  • Become an advocate for a child or teen in foster care. While in foster care, young people may move from home to home and desperately need a consistent adult presence in their life to ensure they don't get lost in the system. To help with this, judges appoint Court-Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) volunteers to watch over a young person's case and advocate for them in court. CASA volunteers don't have to be attorneys or social workers, just everyday people that want to make a difference in an abused or neglected young person's life. For more information, visit https://www.lifestoriesweld.org/programs/casa/.
  • Provide meals for foster families with new placements. The first few days when a child or teen comes into a new environment is full of adjustments...for the entire family! Consider providing a meal to a foster family when you learn of a new placement.
  • Support foster families. Besides providing meals, there are lots of other ways to help a foster family. You could mow the lawn, run errands, offer to watch their biological children, donate hand-me-downs, school supplies or birthday gifts, or help with laundry, homework or chores. Even better, offer to do a particular task weekly, bi-weekly or monthly. Committing to helping a foster family for even an hour a week can be the difference in a parent barely hanging on and finding the balance they need to be their best selves for their family.
  • If you are a business-owner, consider offering discounts on goods or services to foster families. You could provide free haircuts, discounted meals or even a job. Many young people in foster care have a difficult time finding work due to the stigma of being a "foster kid." You could help by reaching out to these young people and providing them with their first work experience, giving them a chance to learn and grow.
  • Get to know a foster family. Many people's knowledge of foster care is through stereotypes and rumors, but getting to know a foster family allows you real insight into the foster care system that will give you empathy and compassion for both birth families and foster families. Knowing and learning about what the foster care system involves, from all angles and in multiple circumstances, is the first step to helping children and teens in foster care.