Getting involved in foster care
(and you don’t have to become a foster parent to do it!)
While foster parents are certainly needed, it’s not for every family. Maybe you have a
heart for foster children and want to serve them, there are plenty of ways to do that
without directly becoming a foster parent. Here are some direct and indirect ways to
impact the lives of these children.
1. Become a foster parent.
These are local foster care agencies within Lancaster County. If you are interested in becoming a foster parent, explore the different agencies and then call them!
150 N. Queen St. Suite 111
Lancaster, PA 17603
630 Janet Ave.
Lancaster, PA 17601
1417 Oregon Road
Leola, PA 17540
301 N. Duke St.
Lancaster, PA 17602-4915
412 S. Angle St.
Mt. Joy, PA 17552
1681 Crown Avenue, Suite 201
Lancaster, PA 176016314
2. Become a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) volunteer
CASA provides court appointed volunteer advocacy for abused and neglected children.
CASA volunteers believe that every child deserves to grow up in a home free of abuse
and neglect, and that growing up in a safe home is a fundamental human right. CASA
volunteers fight for that right, they lift up children’s voices, they lift up children’s lives
with the belief that every child deserves a safe, nurturing, and permanent home.
CASA volunteers are assigned to a child in foster care and stay with that child until they
are returned home or adopted. They meet with the foster child and are another voice
for the child. They are a stable person in the child’s life as it is common that social
workers, foster parents, etc. may change as they are in care. Training to be a CASA is
held every fall and spring, it is 30 hours of intensive training and then some ongoing
training each year. This is a very important way to directly impact the lives of children.
Children with a CASA volunteer:
- are more likely to find a safe and permanent home
- spend less time in foster care
- do better in school
- are less likely to be bounced from home to home
- receive more help while in the foster care system
Please read this article that appeared in November 2014 “Children in foster care
53 North Duke Street, Suite 218
Lancaster, PA 17602
3. Support those involved in foster care
Pray for foster families. Pray for emotional and spiritual strength as they go through
challenging times. Pray for physical strength as they open their home to children. Pray
for their own children to understand and welcome the foster child into their home.
- Notes/emails of encouragement
- Provide clothes & toys
A foster family has required training to attend, they also have court hearings, visits
with the birth parents, many doctors appointments, etc. Sometimes they just need a
night out to reconnect with each other. In order to babysit the foster child, you will need
to complete background checks and clearances. If you are going to watch the child in
your home, you will need the caseworker to complete a home study. These are actually
very easy things to complete and really bless the foster family.
- Volunteering to help the foster mom out around the house for a day.
- Taking other children (carpooling) to school, activities, church, etc.
- Understanding what the foster family is going through (well meant comments like “I couldn’t do that” or “it’s going to be hard saying goodbye” or “I’d get too attached” can be very hurtful).
- Volunteer or help to sponsor a foster family event – Lancaster Family Day