We all know the foster system is in crisis, along with a whole lot of other parts of this country that are feeling pretty broken at the moment. It's something those who pay attention hear about often, but becoming a foster parent is a commitment most people can't take on for logistical reasons. Thankfully, there are so many ways you can help foster kids without being a foster parent, and some of them involve no more work than picking up an extra set of school supplies when you shop for your own kid. Too many kids, a reported 428,000 on any given day according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, are in foster care in the United States. Resources are slim for them already, and foster families are too few.
I was a foster mom for a year between adopting our baby girl and before I went back to work full-time. My partner and I figured that we may as well use our foster license, which we completed in order to adopt our daughter, when we saw how much need our one little agency had for foster parents. It was the most transformative thing I've ever done, and if we could survive on one income I'd still be home with foster babes.
Just this week, I've had two conversations with foster moms in the middle of their own foster journey. They both have multiple biological children and have added sister sibling pairs, between the ages of 1 and 4, to their broods. They love their foster girls like their own, but I can say from personal experience (and after the aforementioned conversations) that foster parenting is exhausting. It involves frequent meetings with case workers, visits with biological parents, court dates, and much, much more, especially at the beginning of a placement. While I'm not currently fostering, because I've gone back to work full-time, I realized I could be doing more to help foster kids and more to share the burden with foster parents.