Nationally, 50% of foster families quit either after the first year or after their first placement, primarily because they didn’t feel supported. The Care Communities model have been proven to retain up to 90% of those foster parents.
Care communities are teams of 6-8 people that wrap around a foster family. They offer emotional, spiritual/prayer, and physical/financial support. Members choose which roles they want to play in the care community. You will be assigned a foster family that is close to you geographically, not more than a 15 minute drive.
Family Helper: Serves the family in tangible ways including meals, house cleaning, errands, extra housework, laundry, yard work, homework or even childcare for the biological children in the family. The possibilities are endless, and the options are unique to each family.
Child Mentor: This role allows to be more involved in the life of a foster child, offering a great opportunity to regularly pour love and encouragement into them. We ask Child Mentors to commit to providing childcare at least twice per month. Childcare is the area where foster parents need the most support and tend to receive the least. They are hesitant to ask for childcare beyond necessary appointments, often fearing they are imposing or inconveniencing others.
Team Leader: This role allows for organization of the team as well as you getting to be very involved with the foster family. Generally, tasks will require a time investment of less than an hour per week. A consistency is required when serving in this role. Responsibilities include a weekly phone call to the foster family, a weekly email updating the team on childcare needs and prayer requests. They’ll also update the Care Calendar. The team leader can also serve as a family helper or child mentor.
Your first step is to attend a Volunteer Orientation. There is no obligation to join a Care Community, simply come and learn more!