Are you looking for a service project your extended family can do together? One that will celebrate your family, while helping children who are being sent to foster care? This project can be done on any scale and can make a huge difference to a scared child and his/her new foster family.
Often children are removed from their home quickly when their parents have been deemed unfit. Even clothes may not be grabbed as children are quickly whisked to safety. They can arrive at a new foster home with little more than the clothes on their back. These children are frightened and confused.
Having a “welcome care package” to greet them can help ease the transition just a little. Check with a local agency serving foster children. Often private agencies are more open to help than governmental ones, but call before assembling your care package. Ask what items they would suggest and if there are any items they will not accept (some places frown on stuffed animals for example).
If you want to make it into a family devotional, talk about how Joseph must have felt his first night in Egypt or Samuel the first night he spent with Eli (technically they weren’t foster children, but the emotions were probably similar). Talk about how blessed your family has been to have parents who took good care of their children (assuming they did) and how sad it is when parents don’t take good care of their children. Explain that sometimes, it is too dangerous for the child to stay with their parents for a time and they must go live with a family who will take good care of them until their parents can do it. (You may have to adjust the explanation a bit if your children are very young.)
Ask your kids what they would want if they were these children who are placed in foster care. What you put in the care package can vary, but you might want to consider these necessary items:
- Fun toothbrush
- Hair brush
- Bows or cute hair ties for girls
- Fun pair of warm socks
- Children’s book
- Flashlight or night light
- Coloring book and crayons
- Stuffed animal
- Children’s Bible
You can package it simply or dress it up a bit for fun. Go together as a family and deliver the completed care packages to the agency you have chosen. Ask them to share with your children about foster care and how they serve the children who are placed into foster care. You probably won’t ever meet the actual children you help (privacy laws), but your service project can make a really tough night just a little bit easier for a frightened child.