Foster Care

Permanent Placement, Get the Facts, and What You Can Do

What's the deal?

Foster care is a system in which a minor has been placed into a ward, group home, or private home of a state-certified caregiver referred to as a "foster parent". The placement of the child is usually arranged through the government or a social-service agency. States are working to make sure that children don't stay in the foster care system and get moved around too often. It's become increasingly difficult to find children in the foster care system forever families. This is especially true for the children with behavioral problems, mental disabilities, and medical issues. Many families just can't handle some of the problems, so the child has to be sent on to another house. This can seemingly make the child's issues, especially behavioral and emotional, even worse when there is no stability to guide them. Long term affects include a higher risk of incarceration, use of drugs, teen pregnancy, and emotional issues. In Adult Living we focused a lot on how important the family is. That is why it's so important that kids can find a stable home with a family that can support them because it will affect them not just during their childhood, but later in life.

What are YOU going to do about it?

Opportunities are Right Around the Corner

There are so many different things you can do to help foster kids right here in Buffalo County. You can make foster care bags. Often times when children are placed in foster care they have very few belongings with them. You can donate bags filled with simple things such as snacks, toys, a book, toiletry items, and a blanket to make these kids feel a little more welcome during their transition. Compass here in Kearney accepts these bags and then will use them when a child or family is in need of one. You can also make birthday cards or cards of encouragement for foster kids with a gift card inside. These will be given to children when they are placed in a home or on a special occasion such as a birthday. You can also donate toys for children to play with while having supervised visits with biological families. Children come to have visits with parents at the Compass facility and get the chance to play games or toys with their families. All donations can be dropped off at 514 W 11th Street. A long term option is becoming a foster or adoptive parent! Compass offers free training, materials, and services to get you through the process of becoming a foster parent. Becoming a foster parent is a great way to prevent kids from being shuffled through the system. If you aren't at a point in your life where you can become a foster parent, you can become a respite foster parent. This means that you would take someone's foster kids for a few hours for a date night or a weekend if the foster parents have to go out of town. This gets you directly involved with foster children and is perfect for those who can't be full time foster parents. Another opportunity in Kearney is the Glow in the Dark Race and The Superhero Dash that Compass holds each year. These races promote awareness about foster care and the funds go directly to families and children in the area in need and also support families working to adopt children from other countries. The Glow in the Dark Race is held in October and the Superhero Dash is held in July. An easy thing you can do to help is just support a foster parent that you know. Bring them a meal or send them a card of encouragement. Another way that you can prevent these kids from growing up with issues is become a mentor. If you are 18 or older you can mentor a foster kid meaning you take them out and do an activity with them a few times a month. This small thing can create a bond and relationship that these kids might not already have.