They say it takes a village to raise a child and, because of numerous non-profits and other committed organizations, that’s exactly what’s happening with many foster children. While state agencies and compassionate foster parents are vital to a foster child’s safety and success, it takes more. Oftentimes both agencies and foster families are overwhelmed and juggling more than they can handle.
When an organization steps in to lend a helping hand, it can make a world of difference. Foster children face a higher risk of dropping out of school, getting involved with drugs and alcohol and generally have a wider achievement gap than other kids. Here are 5 organizations helping foster kids flourish.
1. New York Foundling
This Empire State organization’s mottos is “Abandon No One” and that’s exactly what they’ve been doing since 1869. With a range of programs geared towards abandoned children and the families that support them, New York Foundling takes a holistic approach to foster care. However, it doesn’t stop there. From pregnant teen mother support to helping disabled community residents, New York Foundling utilizes evidence-based research to encompass the needs of a variety of people.
2. National Foster Parent Association
The NFPA focuses on four pillars for foster parents: support, advocacy, education and information. The purpose of this organization is to provide a solid foundation for foster parents seeking additional support when caring for foster children. The NFPA is open to anyone who’s interested in advancing the success of foster children.
3. National Foster Care Coalition
As a strong believer in the “it takes a village” approach, the coalition is a collection of partner organizations, agencies and individuals across the US who are committed to supporting the positive development of families, youth and children. This organization focuses on developing a collective power and voice to create change at the local and federal level.
4. Save Our Children Coalition
The University of Michigan Dearborn School of Education created this organization that’s dedicated to improving the collaboration of numerous foster-geared organizations across Michigan. Similar to the National Foster Care Coalition, but on a local level, the Save Our Children Coalition serves to strengthen existing programs and focuses on community reform, education, and community outreach services.
5. Kids Matter Inc.
This organization serves foster kids while they’re in the system and/or looking to be placed with a family. It maintains four core programs to serve children in the welfare system or the foster system and abused or neglected children in limbo. With counseling, programs for extended families, assigning advocates for children in court and a program that collects necessities for children, Kids Matter does it all.
There are a number of organization doing great things for foster children, but there’s still more need. The entire village is still being rallied, but things are moving in the right direction.