Building Strong Support Networks for Foster Parents
Last updated: November 21, 2023, at 10:27 a.m. PT
Originally published: November 21, 2023, at 10:27 a.m. PT
Rewarding and challenging? Yes, navigating the world of foster care can be both.
That’s why a strong support network is essential in your journey. It’s a place to turn to celebrate successes, as well as receive guidance, inspiration, and a sense of community for both current and prospective foster parents.
From blogs and books to podcasts and local organizations, these resources can help guide and inspire you when you need it most, as you make such an incredible difference in the lives of foster youth. Our foster care team knows just how important this is, so they’ve put together a list here to get you started.
The blogs Fostering Perspectives, The Foster Life, and Confessions of an Adoptive Parent provide valuable insights, personal stories, and practical advice from experienced foster parents. Additionally, many social media creators provide daily inspiration, encouragement, and a community of like-minded individuals. Follow relevant accounts and hashtags on platforms like Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube.
Books, Movies, and Documentaries
The Connected Child by Karyn Purvis and David Cross is a widely recommended book for understanding the impact of trauma on children, as well as strategies for nurturing connections. Other notable reads include Three Little Words by Ashley Rhodes-Courter and To the End of June by Cris Beam. For movies and documentaries, consider titles like Instant Family and The Drop Box, which shed light on the experiences of foster families.
The Honestly Adoption Podcast provides practical tips and real-life experiences from foster and adoptive parents, and Fostering Voices explores the joys and challenges of fostering through heartfelt conversations. These podcasts can help you feel understood, supported, and equipped with knowledge and strategies to navigate your unique journey.
Connecting with Local Organizations
One of the most crucial aspects of finding support is connecting with local organizations. Seattle Angels, for example, is a community-driven organization that supports foster children and their families by providing resources, mentorship, and positive experiences. Reach out to them, and other local foster parent support groups, and attend their meetings or events. These groups offer a safe space to share experiences, seek advice, and build lasting relationships with fellow foster parents who understand the unique challenges and joys of this journey.
Embracing the Power of Community
It truly does take a village to raise a child, and foster youth are no different! Embrace the power of community by actively seeking support, attending trainings and workshops, and connecting with other foster parents. Remember to schedule regular respite to take time for yourself and connect with important people in your life. Build relationships with professionals, teachers, therapists, and case managers who can provide valuable resources and guidance. At the Y, we have a youth-centered, whole person approach to our care. We strive to offer a variety of ways to build and nourish connections within our Y fostering community that include a monthly virtual support group, a Facebook community group, and in-person events.
Finding, building, and maintaining your support network in foster care is essential for creating a strong foundation as a foster parent. Remember, you are not alone in this endeavor. Reach out, engage with the foster care community, and embrace the power of connection and support. Together, we can create a supportive network that uplifts foster parents and ensures the best possible care for the children and youth in our care.