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!

LANCASTER COUNTY CHILDREN AND YOUTH SOCIAL SERVICE AGENCY

150 N. Queen St. Suite 111

Lancaster, PA 17603

717-­299-­7925

PRESSLEY RIDGE

630 Janet Ave.

Lancaster, PA 17601

717-397-5241

COBYS FAMILY SERVICES

1417 Oregon Road

Leola, PA 17540

717-­299-­7925

BETHANNA

301 N. Duke St.

Lancaster, PA 17602-­4915

1-800-­989-­1926

717­-299­-1926

 FAMILIES UNITED NETWORK, INC.

412 S. Angle St.

Mt. Joy, PA 17552

717-­492-­9338

 BETHANY CHRISTIAN SERVICES

1681 Crown Avenue, Suite 201

Lancaster, PA 17601­6314

717­399­3213

 

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

need advocates.”

 

COURT APPOINTED SPECIAL ADVOCATE (CASA)

53 North Duke Street, Suite 218

Lancaster, PA 17602

717­208­3280

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
  • ­Meals
  • ­Provide clothes & toys
  • ­Babysitting

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