Imagine If You Will
Imagine…you wake up one day and life as you know it has drastically changed. You have lost your home, your way of life, your security. And with that loss, everything that is familiar to you vanishes—your friends, your community, your place of worship, and your school or job. Everything. Now, imagine that you are just a child, an innocent person with nowhere to go and no hope. This should not be the reality of our youth, but, sadly, it is for many.
Current Crisis in Foster Care
There is an ongoing crisis in our foster care system. With nearly 424,000 children in foster care in the United States, the need for foster families continues to increase. And this number grows exponentially each year. Unfortunately, there are many more children in urgent need of placement than there are homes for them.
This tragic reality is something that Grayson County Child Welfare Board is desperately trying to combat locally. With over 150 children in need of foster homes in Grayson County, our goal is to raise awareness and recruit and educate families interested in impacting the life of a child in need. We all share responsibility for these children, and now more than ever, we need to claim that obligation.
We realize that not everybody is able to take on the full responsibility of fostering – maybe the timing isn’t right, maybe a family doesn’t have the capacity, or maybe there just isn’t interest in caring at the level of fostering. And that is perfectly okay! That is why CWB has created multiple opportunities that allow EVERYBODY to participate in helping care for our foster kids…at a level comfortable to all.
Creating a Village
The foster children belong to the village—and we are that village. We believe that the responsibility of our children belongs to everybody in our community, and that we all need to rally together and offer help. To this end, we have created ways in which everybody can assist our foster children and families.
We all know that it takes a village to raise a child; therefore, it will take a village to save a child as well. There are many ways in which we can all contribute to and strengthen our village so that neglect, abuse, and fostering become a thing of the past. We all have a stake in saving our children.
We have developed a wide range of opportunities that allow even the busiest person to be involved and do their part. With tiered levels of support that will provide ongoing care for our foster families, there is a role we can all play to help care for our children in foster care.
Level 1 – Banking Your Contributions
1. Monthly contribution through EFT transfer. You decide how much you would like to contribute each month – whether it is $10, $20, $50, $100 or more, you make the commitment to financially support monthly through an automatic payment process.
2. Volunteer Bank (as-needed services). This will be a network of folks who offer to help when a foster family is in need. Services might include meal preparation, events, errands, house repairs, needed items, etc.
Level 2 – Adopt a Foster Family
Each foster family will have a system of support from 5-6 families who commit to wrap around them and provide a needed service on a regular basis – whether that is weekly, monthly or as needed. These families will function as an extended family to the foster family in need, helping them with things like shopping, errands, cooking, respite (respite requires a certification process), house repairs, car maintenance, etc. Wrapping this kind of support around our foster families allows them to become stronger in their fostering abilities – taking in more of the kids and making a stronger lasting impact.
Because our foster families are doing the heavy lifting of nurturing our children, we are creating a village of support they can tap in to whenever needed. It is our way of building community reverence and respect for our foster families. We believe they are the VIPs of our community, and we want to treat them as such.
Level 3 – Become a Foster Family
Through education and resources offered by CWB, foster families are supported every step of the fostering process. If you are interested in becoming a foster family, please contact us for more information. Why not become a foster family today? And if you are not sure if you and your family are ready to adopt, please visit the Texas DFPS to help answer any questions you may have.
Level 4 – Connecting with Local Business
CWB is collaborating and working in conjunction with local businesses to create a foster family discount card that will assist foster families in providing the essentials for their foster kids. These local connections will allow us to grow our village of supporters and to offer special pricing for our foster families at restaurants, grocery stores, auto mechanics, clothing stores, salons, and more.
Collaboration and Connection
When people and businesses come together to help build a village of safety and care for our children, we begin to level the curve a bit and reduce the stress for fostering. It is our goal to help support foster families in any way that is needed. When we create strong relationships and connections within our community, our children benefit and feel a sense of a larger home, a village that embraces, nurtures, and protects them.
We look forward to you joining our village! The more people who help, the more our foster children and families benefit. And the more they all benefit, the better our world becomes—one village at a time.