Program Impacts

What do these Children need?

Foster children are often at a tremendous disadvantage when it comes to life skills and growth in comparison to children who remain with their family of origin.  The statistics bear witness to that.  This is the challenge that Fostering Hope takes on and we do so by giving the children and their families the three (3) essentials to success:  Stability, Enrichment, Connection.

Stability

  • Decrease stress to a reasonable, healthy level within the household.
  • Ensure a clear, consistent, and predictable life pattern.
  • Limiting – even preventing — transfers from home to home.
  • Living with routines, rules, and disciplinary practices until they become habit.

 

Enriched Environment

 

  • Increase the healthy and productive relationships in a child’s life.
  • Have activities and experiences that are typical of functional families.
  • Relate to caring, dependable adults who have the child’s best interests at heart.
  • Competent adults to help develop the knowledge, experience, and skill needed to be successful in life. Adults and peers who believe in the child and make his or her future possible.

Community Connection

  • Develop healthy adult and peer networks within the civic community.
  • Build relationships with future mentors, friends and advisors.
  • Identify and develop friends who will provide a support system that gives “hands up” assistance once the child has aged-out of the system.

Fostering Hope Program accomplishes these benefits for foster families by:

  • Reducing stress, burn-out and turnover among foster parents.
  • Build relationships with future mentors, friends and advisors.
  • Increasing the resources (people, time, goods, etc.) available to foster parents and children.
  • Creating supportive relationships for children outside of their foster and biological families.
  • Creating awareness of foster parenting and the needs of foster children among faith and civic communities.
  • Increasing the number of foster parents by making fostering less daunting.

The results? This is what foster parents, volunteers, child placement agencies, and pastors have found:

  • They have seen the real differences the teams have made in foster families:
    • Stress levels are significantly reduced among the foster parents.
    • Foster families can take and keep sibling groups together with the help of teams.
    • With the support of a team, foster parents are persisting and continue working with extremely challenging children.
    • The volunteers support foster parents through crises with foster children and minimize the disruption in the foster home.
  • Foster parents give their enthusiastic support to the program. They use the teams to provide enriched educational, recreational, and social activities for the children, including transporting children to appointments, take them camping and horseback riding, help them job hunt and purchase gifts and needed clothing or supplies.
  • Foster parents experience social support from the teams. Foster parents tend to be somewhat isolated socially, because their lifestyle makes it difficult to interact with their friends, or their neighbors may be suspicious and are often concerned about the children they bring into the neighborhood. The teams ease the loneliness they experience.
  • The volunteers remain enthusiastic and report high levels of satisfaction and personal growth.
  • The foster children respond to the volunteers and engage in activities with them. Most have asked: “Why do these people care about us?” Many have bonded with the volunteers.
  • Finding, training, and teaming volunteers and matching them with foster families have become relatively simple and natural. Volunteers feel like “extended family” for the foster family.
  • Congregations are increasingly committed to the program with the strong support of their pastors. Volunteers frequently ask their congregations for additional volunteers, or clothing, school supplies and funding for the children.