Making the Most of Opportunities to Serve – Children
Interested in serving people but not exactly the foreign missions type? How about working with children?
So many ways exist to help children that they couldn’t possibly be listed here. Start with volunteering in classes at school, branch out to teaching Sunday School, be a Scout leader, or make and donate blankets or teddy bears at local victim advocacy centers.
Many kids are waiting for good homes – either temporary foster homes or permanent adoptive homes. This is one way you can change a life and never leave town to make it happen. Contact your local child protection agency to get started fostering.For in-depth, hands-on assistance to children, becoming a foster parent is the way to go. You may want to choose “regular” foster care where children have been removed from their homes due to neglect or abuse from their biological families. A higher level of foster care is Therapeutic Foster Care where kids are generally placed due to their own destructive or self-harming behaviors. This level requires training beyond PS-MAPPS, the standardized foster care training available across the nation. No matter what terms are used, “regular” foster care, “therapeutic foster care,” PS-MAPPS, each state has programs to provide training for the particular level of foster care you choose. Beyond fostering, adopting a child currently in the foster care system is like giving the gift of a family and a home to a child. For those called to adopt, you know you receive far more than you give these children.
Over the years in our role as therapeutic foster parents, we have experienced incredible highs and lows. A child succeeding in the program and moving on to the next step in his or her life is definitely a high point.
Foster parenting is a calling that not all people possess. However, sometimes it just “happens” that a child crosses an adult’s path and makes an indelible impression. That may signal the beginning of years of fostering, bringing children into your home, helping them overcome behaviors or memories of maltreatment, and helping them on to a brighter future. It may also lead to adoption of that child.
Check out the blog post containing the Christmas Message from Little People Land, as our home is affectionately called. We are grateful to have this opportunity to serve the children in such an intensive, rewarding fashion.