The foster system was designed to be temporary, so its relationships are short term and limited in scope. True healing from trauma, however, requires just the opposite: healthy, loving and long-term relationships. Kids who have experienced abuse and neglect must learn to trust others and to find worth and an identity, which is something most of us have but never think about. Science has shown that newborn infants crave love the moment they enter the world, and that the very act of rocking and holding a baby begins to wire our brains for trust, love and acceptance that form who we become.
This is partly why so many children in foster care fail to thrive, despite the hard work of dedicated professionals.
And that’s where we come in. Fostering Hope is unique. We provide extended family and all that goes with it. This includes support for the parents as well as the kids, and it means having the flexibility and nimbleness to adapt to kids’ changing needs as they grow.
When we’ve done our jobs right, kids grow up a sense of belonging and worth and relationships that don’t end abruptly at age 18 when they age out. The different segments of our program, share four things in common:
- They are volunteer driven
- They are designed around what foster parents and kids tell us what their needs are at their stage in life.
- They are consistent with the latest science in developmental psychology
- They are rooted in the power of loving, enduring relationships and healing.
It’s restoring family and community for these kids. We ensure a stable network of people to love them, to be patient with them, to be vigilant about their well-being. Someone to lean on during challenges after leaving the nest. It’s the same intangible yet essential things that we try to create for our own kids. And it makes all the difference.
Fostering Hope was started in Colorado Springs, and to our knowledge, we are one of the only nonprofits doing this particular work in the country. It’s truly a new frontier.
The program is organized into four primary segments:
- Our Core Program, in which volunteer teams from local faith communities surround and support foster parents and the kids in their care.
- Our Teen Intern Partnership, in which we work with another nonprofit, TwoCor, to provide opportunities for lasting employment and help businesses understand trauma-responsive care.
- Fostering Adulthood, in which we support children who are soon to “age out” of foster care at 18 or have already aged out or emancipated.
- Youth Leadership Advisory Council, which gives children in foster care a voice, one of the things they say they never feel like they have.
Interested in getting involved? Learn more about how you can help.