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How to Help Foster Kids

How to Help Foster Kids

Have you ever wondered how to help foster kids? God makes it abundantly clear in His Word that He loves vulnerable children. Here are a few descriptions of God and His love for vulnerable children found in the Bible.

  • God is Father to the fatherless (Psalm 68)
  • He sustains the fatherless (Psalm 146)
  • God defends the cause of the fatherless (Deuteronomy 10)
  • In Him, the fatherless find compassion (Hosea 14)
  • God is the helper of the fatherless (Psalm 10).

How does God help these vulnerable children He loves so much? He helps them, in large part, through His people. In fact, God instituted special laws for His people, Israel, to ensure that they would meet the needs of vulnerable children.

God’s desire for, and expectation of, His people to meet the needs of vulnerable children did not end with Israel and the Old Testament. In James 1, we read that in God’s eyes, looking after orphans is nothing less than a “pure and faultless” religion.

Though the children in the United States foster care system (for the most part) are not “orphans” in the traditional sense, they certainly are among the most vulnerable and marginalized people in our nation. It’s safe to say that God loves these children and wants His people, the Church, to also love them. Not only does He want us to love them, but He wants us to be the means through which He sustains them, defends their cause, and pours out His compassion upon them. He wants us to be the means through which He helps them.

7 Ways To Help Foster Kids

Judging by the correspondence we receive here at Focus on the Family, God’s people are eager to answer His call to love and care for vulnerable children. The question of how to help foster kids is not so much whether to help children in foster care but rather how to help children in foster care. We pray that this article will stir up some ideas within you that you will then consider, talk to your spouse and other family about, and pray together as you seek the Lord’s will for your life in helping to meet the needs of children in foster care.

1. Pray

The first step in helping children in foster care is to pray. Pray that God will open your eyes to the needs of children in foster care and the various adults in the system, including biological families, foster and adoptive families, caseworkers, and other child welfare professionals. Pray that as God opens your eyes to the needs, He will open your heart to the ways He might be calling you to meet those needs. 

It is vital that you not only pray before you begin serving children in foster care but that you continue to pray throughout. Pray that God would bring the right people into the children’s (and the adults’) lives, that He would bring love, justice, healing, restoration, and hope as those in the system work together to bring permanency, safety, and well-being to the children. Pray that God would draw the children and their families to Himself and that they would know Him and follow Him throughout their lives. Get your FREE guide to start praying for foster families.

2. Educate Yourself About How to Help Foster Kids

The next step in helping children in foster care is to educate yourself about the foster care system. Learn how the foster system works, who is involved, and what the system’s goals are. Learn about the reasons children enter foster care. Study the effects of trauma on a child’s development. Learn the language of foster care. For example, we try not to label children, so we call them “children in foster care” rather than “foster kids” (yes, in spite of the title of this article!).

Try to learn about not only the national foster care system, but your state and local systems, too. If possible, find out what the specific needs are in your local system. It may seem obvious, but you cannot meet needs that don’t exist. You may learn that a church in another state collected backpacks for kids, and you decide to do the same, only to find out that your local system has a storage room full of unused backpacks.

3. Donate to Foster Care and Christian Foster Care Organizations

One of the easiest but impactful ways how you can help foster kids is by donating to an organization that serves them in some way. Numerous wonderful organizations all over the country are meeting the needs of children and families in the foster care system. Many of these organizations are Christian, including agencies, parachurch ministries, and church-based foster care ministries. Lifeline Children’s Services is an outstanding ministry based in Alabama, but it has offices in many states. The ministries of the 1.27 Network do great work and also operate in several states. 4KIDS is a local ministry that serves the needs of kids and families, specifically in South Florida. Many of these ministries are non-profits, so the work they do is, at least in part, dependent on private donations. 

In addition to donating money, you may also find opportunities to donate tangible items. Many communities have foster closets full of items that local foster and kinship families can utilize to obtain much-needed items such as clothing, furniture, and more. Here at Focus, our Wait No More Suitcase Bundle Program gives you an opportunity to donate towards the purchase and distribution of new duffle bags, an age-appropriate Bible, a teddy bear, and a handwritten note to children who all too often carry their belongings in black garbage bags. 

Finally, consider donating your time. Many organizations have volunteer opportunities that you, your family, your church, etc., can get involved in that will serve the children in some way. 

4. Support Foster Families

Another way you can serve children in foster care is by supporting the families who care for them. Foster families take Paul’s words to “carry each other’s burdens” seriously as they welcome children who often have very heavy burdens into their homes. In doing so, they are on the front lines in the fight against trauma, helping these children heal from past and present wounds.

Taking on another person’s trauma can exact a heavy toll. Add to it the standard duties of parenting, plus the additional responsibilities of foster parenting, including transporting kids to and from family visitations, therapy when needed, court dates, etc., advocating for the kids at school, and more, and you can see why they need support. You can support foster families by bringing them meals, offering respite care, donating needed items, praying for them, and more. You can also help them out by offering to tutor the kids in their care if they need extra help with school.

5. Become a Foster Care Advocate

God tells us in Proverbs 31:8 to “speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves.” One way to speak up for children in the foster care system is to become a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA). A CASA gets to know a child in the system and then has the opportunity to make recommendations to the court that he/she believes are in the best interests of that child. This is a wonderful way of ensuring that the child’s interests will be presented to the court independent of all other parties’ interests. 

Another way to advocate for children in foster care is to raise awareness of their needs. You can educate your family, friends, church, co-workers, etc., about the needs of children and ways they can help meet those needs. Talk to people in person, use social media, do an event for Foster Care Month at your church, etc. 

6. Become a Mentor to Help Foster Kids

Many children in foster care have been deprived of healthy, God-honoring relationships in their lives and might benefit from one-on-one relationships with caring adults (who are not necessarily in a parental role). Find out if your community offers mentorship opportunities to kids in foster care. If so, you have a chance to play a significant role in modeling healthy relationships to children, helping them heal, building their self-esteem, and showing them their value as precious children made in the image of God Himself.

7. Become a Foster Parent

Perhaps the most impactful way you can help foster kids is by opening your home to one (or more!) as a foster parent. If you believe God is calling you to do so, then learn what steps you need to take to prepare yourself, your family, your home, your extended family, and your support network. As a foster parent, you have the opportunity to welcome children into your home, show them love, help them heal, advocate for them, extend love to their biological families, walk with them and their biological families through reunification, and perhaps give them a permanent home through adoption if that is determined to be in their best interests.

These are some ways you can help children (and their families) in the foster care system. To learn more, visit

©2024 Dr. Sharen Ford. Used with Permission


Stuck in Africa for 4 Years Our International Adoption Story

Stuck in Africa for Four Years: Our International Adoption Story

Cover National Foster Care Awareness Month

National Foster Care Awareness Month

Help even when they don’t ask.

Kids (and families) need help, even when they don’t reach out. Wherever God is calling you, you can get involved.

Father and son play basketball