When we think of children who have experienced trauma, the foster child comes to mind. Most foster children have experienced trauma in one way or another. Something has happened in which they were removed from their birth family and placed in the care of foster parents. Though a foster child may not be officially diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, the effects of the trauma they have experienced may be deep and long-lasting. As foster parents care for their foster child, they help the child through the love and compassion they show.
Some families may be in your church who are living out their faith through serving as foster care parents. Their foster child may come to Mission Friends. It is important for their church family to surround foster families with support and encouragement. Look for ways that you can minister to a foster family.
Place the family on your daily prayer list. Let them know of your commitment to pray for them. Offer to pray for specific requests they might share.
Read the book Faith and Foster Care: How We Impact God’s Kingdom by Dr. John DeGarmo, to understand more about foster care ministry.
Take a meal to the family periodically. We take meals when a family welcomes a new baby, and this also helps when a family welcomes a foster child into their family.
Help a school-age foster child with homework or read with a child after school.
Offer to run errands for the family.
Provide items needed such as diapers, clothing, shoes, or school supplies.
Welcome the foster children at church. Help them to know they are loved and cared for. Realize that foster children may not have been in a group setting before with other preschoolers, and may not have attended church before. Have patience as they learn to be with others.
Be sensitive to the needs of the foster child during special days such as Mother’s Day and Father’s Day.
Plan this quarter’s A Mission Step activity to involve Mission Friends and their parents in ministering to foster families. Choose one of the activities in A Mission Step, Mission Friends Leader, Spring 2017, page 5.
Offer to take their turn on the rotation for preschool worship care in order to give the parents a break.
Listen. Give a listening ear as they share of the struggles and good things about being a foster parent.
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