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One Simple Way The Community Can Help Foster Parents

Earlier this month, my TED colleague, Tom Rawlings, and I spoke at the Christian Legal Society national conference about ways that local churches can help solve the foster crisis.  We emphasized the fact that, while not everyone can be a front-line foster parent, community groups such as places of worship and service organizations can provide a lot of back-up support for foster parents. One relatively easy lift would be to offer “Parents Nights Out” for foster families. Adults in the organization can go through whatever background checks and training the local foster agency requires, and then have regular events where the organization can care for the kids while foster parents have some kid-free time. Groups can offer activities such as tutoring or games to help the kids, and give foster parents a chance to decompress and enjoy time with each other.

There are any number of ways that the community can help solve the foster care crisis, but finding ways to support foster parents to keep them from burning out is a wonderful place to start.

One of the ways that churches do this is through regular Foster Parent Nights Out in Henrico, Hanover and Richmond. These “FPNOs” are a simple way for churches to spend an evening loving on kids and teens in care while foster parents get a much-needed night out to connect as a couple, get some rest, or whatever they might need to continue caring for the kids.


foster care, ausburn_deborah, youth services law, insights