"You may not have my eyes or smile.

     But from that very first moment

                 YOU had my HEART..."

 

May is Foster Awareness Month

There are currently 7,347 children in foster care in the sate of Kansas, over 2,000 more compared to 5 years ago. 
 
Every child deserves a loving family. We are adopted sons and daughters of God, and we know that the family is the basic building block of society. These kids need the love of a family to support them and nurture them to their full potential. 
 
How Can My Parish Help? Host a Foster Fair!
A Foster Fair is like a ministry fair highlighting the many organizations working with children in foster care. 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 table.
  • Organize a blessing at Mass for foster and adoptive families in the parish - English, Spanish​
  • Include intercessions for foster and youth during Mass
  • Ask your pastor to share the stats of Foster Care in the state of Kansas and tie in foster and adoption in his homily
  • Place our bulletin so families learn about fostering
  • Place posters in the back of the church
  • Order prayer cards to St.Jerome Emiliani, patron of foster children
  • Download flyers for Care Portal and CASA and KVC
  • Encourage: 
    • 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!
Learn more here
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.
  • 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. Learn more here 
  • Invite a speaker – after you collect the items, invite Care Portal or KVC to present to your school students and parents about the need for foster families.
Families: Become a Foster Family - 
Is your family called to be a foster family to children in need?  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
  • Host a holiday brunch for kids in group homes at the parish
  • Host drives for duffel bags or clothes for foster youth
  • Become a (Court Appointed Special Advocate) for a child
Individuals: Become a CASA -http://www.casajohnsonco.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:
 
 
 
Private or International Adoption
Call Catholic Charities of Northeast Kansas
or St.Joseph Adoption Ministry
Call Bethany Christian Services at 1-800-238-4269
 
Educate Students with Respect Life Week Curriculum
Our annual Respect Life Week includes information for TK-12 about fostering and adoption, including a high school handout.