FLDWRK exists to provide resources and support for people and organizations as they pursue the world’s best future. We do this through celebrating what’s good in the world and working to do what we can restore the broken. As part of this restorative action, every month we have a focus with the intention of raising awareness and prompting action around a specific cause.
May is National Foster Care Awareness Month and we are hosting a film screening and discussion panel to give people a glimpse into the complexities of the Foster Care System, raise awareness, and provide opportunities for service and support within local organizations & agencies. There are almost 400,000 children in the foster care system in the United States, and California has the largest number of foster children in the country with Los Angeles County leading the state in the number of foster children. Let’s take action together.
I can’t be a foster parent. Can I still help? Absolutely.
Simply stated: We need more good foster parents. They have a profound impact on the children in their care. There is a desperate need for foster parents and if you’ve ever considered it, please explore it. However not everyone who cares about abused and neglected children is able to serve in this way. If you can’t be a foster parent, find out what you can do. One of the main things we want people to learn this month is that you do not have to become a foster parent to help address the needs of foster children.
These vulnerable kids need what you have to offer and there are a wide variety of impactful and creative ways to do something. From donating simple household items, to offering photography (some kids do not have a single photo of themselves), to advocating on behalf of kids, to offering babysitting and respite care, mentorship, tutoring and sports scholarships. In addition to helping in a reactive response to children that are already removed from their homes, there are many ways to get involved on a proactive level to provide support families need to stay in tact and keep children from being removed from their family at all.
Some great organizations that are helping address the various needs of vulnerable children and families, foster children and their caregivers are Safe Families, Teen Leadership Foundation, Ezrah’s Hands, Advokids and CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates). These are among many organizations that are all addressing various needs in unique ways. We celebrate their work and seek to join them in their efforts.
Simple but Significant
It isn’t uncommon for older siblings as young as 18 to be tasked with the care of their younger siblings in an effort to keep them together and out of the foster care system. In many cases, these caregivers are struggling to keep their family together and provide sufficiently for themselves and the kids in their care. This is a very obvious example of how simple donations can make a significant impact on the caregivers. Ezrah’s Hands is an organization that helps support these kinship caregivers (people who are taking care of children who are related to them in some way).
Therefore, we will also be accepting items for donation to Ezrah’s Hand at FLDWRK throughout the month of May. The following items can be dropped by FLDWRK at any time M-F 9-5 or brought to our Film Screening and Discussion Panel on May 30th: Shampoo/Conditioner, Toilet paper, Paper towels, Deodorant, Soap/Body Wash, Toothpaste, Toothbrushes, Dish soap, Canned Pinto Beans, White Rice, Cereal, and Gift Cards to El Super, Albertsons, Payless, Walmart, Target and Gas cards.
Film Screening and Discussion Panel
Please join us on Saturday, May 30th at 7:30PM for a film screening of ReMoved and ReMember My Story, two short films that give a glimpse into the foster care system. They will be followed by a panel discussion of Foster Care professionals and local organizations that are doing something to help address this issue. Tickets are a suggested donation of $10 and all profits will go to Foster Care Awareness.
We’d love for you to spread the word about this event via social media and personal invitations. See those handy icons at the top of this post? Super easy way to spread the word. Contact us if you’d like more information on how you can help foster children and their families in our area.