Helping foster kids

My dad worked in the mental health system for years and years and has talked about being a guardian ad litem in retirement. Our discussion has kept my wheels turning about how I can also contribute.

I’m just beginning to think through the possibilities of how I might be able to help kids in the system myself.

Any suggestions on how to start putting my toe in the water in supporting these kids?


Some sort of mentorship program?

Edit: also, a friend of mine helped a ton with fundraising for a local charity group that was focused on helping foster kids in her area


Have you thought about serving as a CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate)? That is always needed.

Another thing is to offer respite care. More people would be willing to be foster parents if there is better availability of help.


I have a few friends who have become CASAs, and it is always needed and rewarding.

The program I work with for foster kids (for Pay it furward) is an “age-out” program That supports them as they turn 18 without parents. They have people that volunteer as “adult parents” for the kids, helping them navigate through life 18-24 years, not necessarily providing housing but just guidance. This is a way to be involved if younger kids are not your skill set.

Is there an age range you’d like to work with? Fostering in home usually pays but is a bit responsibility.


I don’t think I am ready for fostering directly but at this point I am open to all other options. I don’t think I know enough to know an age range yet.


I help on the age-out side also, and the majority of what I do now is tutoring for kids working towards GEDs or starting at one of the local colleges, but I’ve also provided transition housing a few times and they’re always asking for people who can do respite care (taking foster kids for a short amount of time if their foster parents need some time). I got involved through an after-school program at one of the high schools, but if you contact your local foster care agency they can probably point you towards any local volunteer orgs that they work with.


I volunteered with a local program that was also age-out focused (ages 16+) - kind of like Big Brother Big Sister in that we were primarily mentors & asked to see our assigned teens a certain number of hours a month, help them work towards self-assigned goals, and check in with the social worker facilitating the program. Unfortunately they ceased service in my area (I think due to funding) but I’m hopeful something like it might return to my area post-covid.

I found out about them after they approached the LGBTQ+ Center I volunteer for because they were specifically looking for mentors from that community, so checking with with a broader community organization might yield local leads for you.


Following along because I’ve thought about some of this too. Would like to listen and learn.

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I am interested in getting involved in foster support after my kids launch. PTF