Most often, kinship care involves a child being placed with a relative – grandma, auntie, uncle or cousin – but sometimes a friend, coach, coworker, teacher or neighbor who has established a relationship with the child is asked to step up. Unlike foster parents, kinship providers welcome a child with little notice, little preparation, little support and a host of complex relationships to navigate. That’s why Project 1.27’s Kinship Care program in Mesa County is so important.
Foster care and adoption is a rewarding journey that requires a lot of planning and energy to manage day-to-day needs. Families are doing everything from managing appointments, school activities, and therapies to family commitments, crisis management and re-certification requirements. It can be difficult to find a moment to pause and rest, especially when rest matters the most.
Be socially (media) active
Use your social media networks: share Project 1.27’s posts on Facebook and Instagram, tweet about 40 Hands in Forty Days, and share your love for children in foster care. Become a Forty Days Champion. Everyone loves a champion, including us! Make a commitment to connect with friends, family members and colleagues between March 2 and April 10, encouraging them to donate like you! Every donation of any amount puts life into our mission! Forty Days Champions like you help drive people to our 40 Hands in Forty Days profile, people who might not yet know about the need for great Christian foster and adoptive families. Here’s an image to share to get your friends involved.
Host a Party
Become a Forty Days Champion by gathering family, friends and coworkers between March 2 and Party with a Purpose. You chose the day, time and place. You chose the giving goal. Project 1.27 provides invitation templates, a simple party-planning guide and staff to support you at the party. Here’s a link to get you started.
When you donate, you are supporting better outcomes for kids in foster care and inspiring others to get involved. Donations help Project 1.27 move up on the list of Forty Hands in Forty Days organizations. This makes our cause more visible to everyone who comes to the Forty Hands in Forty Days website. This campaign is being promoted on tv and radio stations, promoting Project 1.27’s mission all across Colorado. Here’s a link to make a donation. (Donations must be made between March 2 and April 10).
Once a child is placed with a foster or adoptive family, he still faces many challenges in recovering from trauma and walking through the grief related to being separated from family. After stepping forward, most foster and adoptive parents discover caring for a child from foster care is hard, pain-filled, sometimes miserable work. But it’s also beautiful, redemptive and grace-filled. Celebrate those good days and be patient in the hard seasons.
Be patient with kids
Children from foster care need time to adjust. Moving from a home where there was neglect and abuse is very difficult. Trying to learn how to be part of a new family is hard. Allow time for the child to adjust during this transition AND future transitions. When a child has experienced multiple traumas, this trauma is expressed in behaviors, emotions and unexpected responses. Parent through a trauma- informed lens and keep learning as much about trauma as you can. Don’t hold back on your love during these transitions. It may break your heart, but do it anyway. Your love does make a difference.
When it comes to processing complex emotions as a result of trauma, children do not have the same ability to identify and articulate the things that are bothering them. As a result, it is common for foster children to exhibit the pain of their trauma through behavioral outbursts. Adults in a parenting or mentorship role to the child can play a strong role in helping the child understand their emotions and teach them how to express powerful emotions effectively. One of the greatest ways to build this connection is through play. Below are some suggestions on how to use play to unlock emotions and thoughts that a foster child might be struggling with.
This February we encourage churches to take an opportunity to show love towards adoptive parents, grandparents, foster parents or any caregiver within your congregation by hosting a Kids’ Night Out. Show your love by providing caregivers a worry-free night out with a spouse or significant other while the kids are having a safe, fun-filled night at the church. Being a caregiver, especially of kids who’ve experienced trauma, can be a difficult job. Here are some steps to consider when planning.
Foster care is supporting children and their parents during a period of separation. This involves co-parenting with the child’s biological parents. Co-parenting can be one of the hardest parts of a foster parent’s job. Done well, co-parenting can be an important factor in the child’s smooth return home and reduce the likelihood the child will reenter foster care in the future. Co-parenting is a gift to kids in foster care because they see the adults in their life working as a team and struggle less with divided loyalties. The foster parent can also serve as a healthy parenting role model for the biological parents.
TIPS for Co-Parenting:
Happy New Year! This season creates the opportunity to reflect on the year passed and look forward to setting new goals in the year ahead. If you find yourself inspired by a fresh start, here are some foster care resolutions to consider setting to support your foster family. At Project 1.27, we are praying for renewed energy and enthusiasm for all our families and their support team members.
Check in regularly: Set a phone/calendar reminder to pray for and contact your foster family regularly. Inquire of your family about any updated information or needs they have and share with the rest of the support team if there are any needs the team can meet.
Calvary Belmar is one of the most recent Foster Adoption Friendly Churches certified by Project 1.27. By developing their foster and adoption ministry and having staff attend Trauma Informed Church Training, Calvary Belmar has created an environment where:
The process began with phone calls, email exchanges and completing the More Than Enough survey. The survey assisted Calvary Belmar’s committee in developing next steps they could take in order to achieve their ministry goals. Here’s information shared by Calvary Belmar about their ministry:
“Although the healing of the children in foster care is our greatest priority, the need for prayer is not limited to the children. There are biological and foster families, caseworkers, advocates and the many volunteers and other professionals involved in the welfare of each child. But it can be difficult to know the many needs of so many people.”
Calvary Belmar challenged the congregation to pray for those in the Foster Care system using created by the Christian Alliance For Orphans.
Calvary Belmar now has a full foster care and adoption ministry which advocates for children in foster care, provides safe and stable foster and adoptive homes for children in crisis, and provides support for the foster and adoptive families.
Join Calvary Belmar in providing support and prayer along with safe and stable foster homes for our most vulnerable children. Caring for vulnerable children can be part of every church culture. Contact Project 1.27 for more information about developing your church foster care and adoption ministry.
“How will this impact the children already in our family?” Sadie, 11 and Shafer, 7 agreed to share some sibling insights on foster care and adoption. Two years ago, Sadie & Shafer welcomed their first foster sister, Elora. November 2019, Sadie and Shafer joined a huge group of supporters to celebrate Elora’s adoption. Sadie and Shafer’s best advice to other kids who are anticipating a new sibling from foster care, “Just love them and accept them as a brother and sister. “
The siblings also have some advice for parents who are anticipating the addition of a new foster sibling
Sadie shared, “Answer the questions your kids have. Have a bunch of friends around who will support them. Take your kids on special dates so they know you still care about them. We had breakfast with dad.” To these wise words Shafer added, “Love them!”