The community can truly make a difference for children in care. Many businesses are displaying portraits of children awaiting an adoptive family, portraits taken by volunteer photographers, to help draw attention to the need for foster families. Others host community festivals aimed at bringing together foster families and others who might consider becoming a foster parent—while having a lot of fun in the bargain!
With nearly 2000 children in care in Maine, the need is greatest for families that can take in a child or siblings, who often are separated when placed in foster care. However, becoming a full time or respite foster parent is not for everyone, and may not be in the cards for you right now. Donating your time, space at your business, or items children can use is a wonderful way to celebrate families that are providing foster care in our community. Your generosity might spark someone else to offer their time and talents—and maybe their home and heart—to a child wondering who they can count on.
There is so much you can do, and below are some ways you can get involved in your own community to help a child that needs it the most.
Donate: Make a monetary or in-kind donation to organizations providing services to foster children. Providing new and gently used goods and supplies can make a major difference, potentially impacting the perspective of children and adults. Remember, quality matters, so always gift highly durable garments. Consider donating new clothes if you are able to do so, which is a great treat for the recipient. Even if you only donate one high quality item a year, that gift has the potential to bring joy for many years to come. Beyond raising self-confidence, a new outfit brings a new attitude, and with that comes the potential for a brighter future. You can also make a donation here to provide clothing, educational supplies, or other critical items for children in foster care.
Volunteer: Another way to contribute is to volunteer your time. Spurwink offers a number of ways you can volunteer in support of our programs, including helping at events like Brews and Backpacks or the Portland 10-miler. A Family for ME trains volunteers to assist with foster parent recruitment events and activities.
Foster: Yes, foster care is hard work. Spurwink Treatment Foster Parents enjoy the support of our team of dedicated professionals, working in conjunction with Maine’s Department of Health and Human Services. We visit regularly, help parents build community connections, and are never more than a phone call away, any time of the day or night. At Spurwink, we recognize the time and energy our foster parents devote to children in care. We offer training, support groups and family outings. We pay a bonus when a family affiliates with us, and after 30 days of placement. We offer our families a bonus when they refer friends and family who become Spurwink foster homes. Our foster families are our best recruiters!
Join the Spurwink team today. Whether you are considering fostering, donating or volunteering, call us at 207-871-1200 or request information at www.spurwink.org/fostercare. We’ll be in touch soon!