Foster Friends is a ministry at Woodlands Church that seeks to support families who are fostering children. Being a foster family is hard work and often very isolating. The family must navigate new personalities, needs, appointments and the trauma and grief that these new children bring with them. Often, the stress of all of this leads to burn out and about 80% of families quit fostering after 1 year, thus moving the child to another home. Each time a child is moved it creates more trauma and hurt for them to process. God has a heart for each one of these children and there is something we can do; not everyone is called to become a foster family but we can all do something!
Foster Friends creates Care Communities to surround each foster family at our church with a meal once a week, childcare and prayer. This tangible support helps the family to foster longer and avoid burnout.
We are looking for people who would be willing to provide a meal or childcare one time per month to help alleviate a little of the burden foster families face. When their load is lightened they can focus more time on their children and marriage and can foster longer.
Here are some of the roles in the Care Communities:
- Team Leader – This position is relational and administrative as it involved talking to the foster family each week and reporting back to the Care Community. The Team Leader works to build a relationship with the foster family, ensure their needs are being met and give the Care Community ways they can be praying for the family throughout the week. The commitment for this role is about 1 hour per week.
- Family Helper – The Care Community blesses the family with a meal each week, on the night of the family’s choosing. Each family helper commits to bringing one meal each month. We provide the family helpers with information about food preferences, dislikes and allergies. As a Care Community gets to know the family the Family Helpers can also help with other needs such as yard work or light cleaning. The Family Helper also prays for the family throughout the week.
- Child Mentor – A child mentor commits to meeting with a child one time each month for a regularly scheduled outing. They can also help with transportation or if something unexpected comes up during the month. This role can be used to serve the children in foster care or the biological children in the family. This role requires a background check. The Child Mentor also commits to praying for the family throughout the week.
- Interim Caregiver – An Interim Caregiver is someone who has developed a relationship with the family and children and provides overnight care for the foster children so that the family can have some time together. This role requires a background check and is often a role someone will “grow into” over time. The Interim Caregiver also commits to praying for the family throughout the week.
The Care Community seeks to match the gifts of the members with the needs of the family. Therefore, it can have endless possibilities but always seeks to support and encourage the foster family.
The commitment to serve in a Care Community is for 1 year.