May is Foster Awareness Month
- 21% of foster children in LA are under the age of 2
- Upon aging out of foster care without a family: 1 in 3 of former foster youth will become homeless, 1 in 4 will become incarcerated, and 70% of trafficked youth come from the foster care system.
There are many different ways to get involved in foster care.
Parish: Host a Foster Speaker!
The Archdiocese can provide speakers for Masses and meetings who will speak to parishioners about fostering and how they can get involved in becoming a foster family, or how the parish community can support foster children as a group. We’ll help you find a speaker for after Masses, provide you with prayers and resources, and introduce you to agencies you can invite to speak and help your parish get involved in foster. Call The Office of Life, Justice, and Peace at (213) 637-7632 to book a speaker today.
- Organize a blessing at Mass for foster and adoptive families in the parish – English, Spanish
- Include Intercessions for Foster Youth during Mass
- Ask your pastor to read our report on Foster and tie in foster and adoption in his homily
- Place our bulletin insert so families learn about fostering
- Place posters in the back of the church
- Order our prayer card to St. Jerome Emiliani, patron of foster children
- Download flyers for CASA, Olive Crest, and Foster All
- School and religious ed to host a parent’s night on fostering or a drive for foster youth
- Families to foster or support foster youth in other ways
- Prayer groups and ministries to pray for foster families
- Individuals to become CASA’s or support foster youth in other ways
Schools & Religious Ed Classes: Host a Drive!
Youth in foster care often lack the basic clothes they need, and have to carry all their belongings in trash bags. Collect something practical and fun like jeans for teens, pajamas on Pajama Day, socks with a Crazy Sock Day, prom dresses, backpacks around Back to School, or duffel bags. Donate the items to Love Gives Foster Closet or James Storehouse.
- Send flyers home with the kids – Send this bulletin insert home to families, and include a little blurb on why you’re hosting a drive
- Invite a speaker – after you collect the items, invite FosterAll to present to your school students and parents about the need for foster families.
Families: Become a Foster Family – FosterAll.org
Is your family called to be a foster family to children in need? FosterAll acts as a bridge for prospective families, connecting you to foster agencies that best fit your family. Learn more about what it takes, find real answers, and hear other foster/adoptive families about their experiences.
If your family does not feel called to be a foster family, you can support foster youth in other ways:
- Bringing meals and material needs to families who foster
- Mentor foster kids through Big Brothers, Big Sisters or KidSave
- Drive foster kids to church with Covenants for Kids
- Host a family brunch for kids in group homes at the parish
- Host drives for duffel bags or clothes for foster youth
- Become a CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) for a child
Individuals: Become a CASA – CASALA.org
Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASAs) are trained volunteers who represent and advocate for youth in the dependency court system. Each CASA represents the best interests of the child and makes a life-changing difference. Download the flyer to promote CASA volunteers.
Other Ways to Get Involved.
Find resources to become a foster or adoptive parent:
- Call Foster All at 818-649-8000
Foster All refers to agencies that best fit a family seeking to foster or adopt. Plus, Foster All helps churches wrap around foster families to support them as a loving community for children.
- Contact Olive Crest
Olive Crest is a foster organization based on Judeo-Christian principles, dedicated to preventing child abuse, to treating and educating at-risk children and to preserving the family one life at a time.
Private or International Adoption
- Call Bethany Christian Services at 1-800-238-4269 or visit Bethany.org
- Visit Holy Family Services (through the Episcopal Church) at hfservices.ladiocese.org
- Visit BraveLove.org to find more adoption resources and stories
- Watch this beautiful video “Embraced” to learn more about adoption
Become a Safe Families’ Church
Safe Families is an innovative collaboration between area churches, volunteers and childcare professionals to support at-risk children and parents in need – with the goal of keeping children out of foster care. The parish community would support a family in crisis, whether the parents are facing sickness, hospital stays, homelessness, job loss, jail time, drug addiction, or another crisis. Trained families from the parish would welcome children under 18 years old into their homes free for as long as the family needs. The average length of stay is about six weeks and the biological family maintains parental rights. Visit Olive Crest to learn more about their local Safe Families program and watch this video about Safe Families.
Educate Yourself on Foster and Adoption
Bring the Heart Gallery to Your Parish
The Heart Gallery is a collection of beautiful life-size portraits of children waiting for adoption. It’s a great visual for parishioners to see the children they can help. To request the Heart Gallery display at your parish, call Stephanie Clancy at 909-802-1411 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Educate Students with Respect Life Week Curriculum
Join the Catholic Legislative Network
Sign up for the Catholic Legislative Network’s email alerts so you can raise your voice for children and youth in foster care in the California legislature.
Educate Yourself and Your Parish with Angelus News Articles:
- Fostering hope: L.A. churches part of growing foster care movement
- How to foster a culture of life: A suicide survivor’s miraculous witness
- Considering the options for infertile couples
- Wholly family: The joy of foster care
- Why women aren’t choosing adoption – and how pro-lifers can change that
- The perfect gift of adoption
- Johnny, Felicia, and Soren: An adoption story
- Life after foster care: How young adults are winding up on the streets
- A Plan That is Always Good