ISOLATION = Greater Risk for Kids
This virus hurts adults, but one of the solutions – the quarantine – hurts kids in at-risk families and in foster care! Fortunately, there are ways you can help during this time. You just have to be creative and SAFE. As more information comes available in your specific state, we will update you. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram to stay up-to-date.
Foster/Kinship/Adoption Care Survival Kits
Why does this matter? Parenting children from hard places is unique and now made significantly more challenging with adding homeschooling and isolation to the mix. Put together a kit for a foster or adoptive family that you know or a grandparent or family member raising a child (a.k.a. Kinship Care). Below are our top ideas for creating such a kit. Create the kit yourself, or order items for home delivery. Text or call first to let the family know you are dropping it off on their doorstep. Don’t forget to wipe everything down!
- Teething toys
- Easy Puzzles/Toys/Books
- Sidewalk Chalk
- Sidewalk Chalk & Outdoor Toys
- Books/Advanced board games
- Headphones + music player
- Amazon Fire Tablet (approx. $50)
Crisis Cards for Aging Out Youth
Why does this matter? These vulnerable young adults are in desperate need of groceries, toiletries, and some even need a place to stay as dorms and shelters close. Others need access to technology to keep their jobs and stay in school at this time. Through our Dream Makers Project, AKB is connected to caseworkers nation-wide who work with youth that have aged out of foster care. We can get Crisis Cards to these young adults swiftly to meet these basic needs.
Visit DreamMakersProject.org to provide a Crisis Card today. Go To DreamMakers
Offer Virtual Respite
Why does this matter? Even in normal life, respite care is a #1 need of foster parents. What is respite care? It is caring for a child in foster care for a few hours or even days so that foster parents/families have time to recharge. In this time of social distancing, could you get online with a foster family you know and play games with kids for even 30 minutes? Keep kids engaged and entertained while parents or caregivers take a breather. Here are some things to think about:
- Teach a hobby or skill via Zoom or Facetime
- Get a whiteboard and play good old fashioned hangman together
- House Party is an app you can use to play games with one another
- Read a book to a child or do trivia
- Tell jokes to one another
- Offer to tutor in subjects the parents need help with
- Have a dance off
- Story-telling together. Tell a story from your childhood or take turns making up a story together.
Share Your Stash (#shareyourstash)
Why does this matter? Front line child welfare workers are still making home visits. They need wipes to sanitize their car or office to keep everyone healthy. Consider dropping off unopened cleaning wipes at your local welfare office and using soap and bleach at home.
- Search department of social services in a map program to find the nearest one.
- Add a thank you note for encouragement!
- Follow us on Facebook and Instragram to share a picture and stay up to date with the hashtag: #shareyourstash
Prepare to be a Foster Parent
Why does this matter? The very unfortunate truth about this current season is that some caregivers will become ill or pass away. This isolation will raise the cycle of abuse and neglect for children. There are already over 400,000 children in foster care. That number will rise, while the number of foster or kinship parents will likely decrease. Here are ways you can prepare NOW to be a foster parent.
LEARN. First, get to know the facts about Foster Care in the U.S. Second, understand that parenting children from hard places often requires new relational skills and an understanding of the impact of trauma. There is a growing library of resources to help you prepare. Here is a list of our favorite blogs, books, and resources.
TALK IT OVER. Single, married, parents, grandparents, young or empty-nester…no matter what your age or stage in life, becoming a foster or adoptive parent is a big life change. Have a thoughtful discussion with your family and friends about foster care. Here are some possible topics:
- Does our family know any foster or adoptive families? What can we learn from them?
- What kind of adjustments would we need to make to consider fostering or adopting?
- What are the great things about our family we could share with kids in need of a home?
- What are the things we might need to work on before we should consider this?
- Who would be our support team? Are there people from our neighborhood or church who could wrap around us if and when we take this journey?
MEET KIDS. There are over 100,000 kids and youth available for adoption right now. Get to know some of these kids by viewing AKB’s I Belong ProjectTM Videos. We give these children and youth a face and a voice to advocate for a family.View The Videos
CONNECT WITH YOUR STATE AKB AFFILIATE. Our state affiliates can directly link you to what you need to know to start the journey to being a foster parent. Look for the Prospective Parent resources.Colorado Kids Belong Indiana Kids Belong Kansas Kids Belong Kentucky Kids Belong Louisiana Kids Belong Oklahoma Kids Belong South Dakota Kids Belong Tennessee Kids Belong Virginia’s Kids Belong
Don’t see your state? Visit our partners at AdoptUSKids to select your state to connect to that state’s Child Welfare foster parenting license process.Visit AdoptUSKids
Are you a leader in business, faith or government? AKB empowers leaders to solve the crisis for kids in foster care all across the United States. Connect with us to learn how your influence can impact the lives of kids in foster care.
AKB means business. Learn what being a Business Impact Partner is all about.
Learn about our 4R Faith Solution for Kids in Foster Care and view our Free Church Resource Library.
Whether you are a Federal, State, Local Official or a State Child Welfare Worker, we can help improve the story for kids and families in your state.
Invest in AKB's Battle Plan for Kids
AKB is helping states to get ready for this influx of kids coming into foster care. We are talking with leaders in government, business and faith spheres on how to come together to meet this problem head on. Our goal is not to just stay the course and somehow get through the COVID-19 crisis financially. We are making a battle plan and your tax deductible donation to America’s Kids Belong will insure that the kids in foster care and those soon to enter care are not forgotten, but remain in focus now more than ever.
America’s Kids Belong
1540 Main St.
Unit 218 #331
Windsor, CO 80550