Fostering Great Ideas improves the experience for every child in foster care. Knowing that losses multiply, and stress amplifies the longer a child stays in care, our goal is to provide support throughout the foster care journey, ultimately resulting in lives back on track. Partner with us in your community – and change the life of a child.What’s it like to be in foster care? Download a 2-page PDF showing the Journey Through Foster Care.
Children in foster care need to know they matter.
The moment a child is removed from her home, due to severe neglect or abuse… The moment a child waits to see his parents again… The moment a child says goodbye forever to his family… For these painful moments, we give bears to hug, to comfort and to lessen the trauma.
Operation Bear Hug is powered by donations of new and gently used, huggable bears.
When children enter foster care, the “family visit” provides a venue for broken families to begin healing.Nationally, improving these family visits is a priority, as healthy family bonds are critical for child development. Providing crafts for family visits gives parents a tool to re-engage with their children. Statistically, half of children in foster care go back to mom or dad, so positive connections are critical.
On the Saturday before Thanksgiving, birth families reunite with their child(ren)for a Thanksgiving meal, providing positive memories at this difficult time. Fostering Great Ideas partners with area churches to host several families who are working to reunite with their children. Volunteers bring the turkeys and the fixin’s for a family-style meal. At the end of the meal, birth parents go home and children in foster care return to their foster families and group homes, but each take a meaningful memory back with them. Thanksgiving Grace offers a compassionate way to touch families in crisis.
In the U.S., 400,000 children live in foster care. When a child moves, trash bags are often used to carry the child’s possessions. A simple suitcase says “you count.”In partnership with Social Services, new & gently used luggage is collected and distributed, so children can “carry on” to their next placement with dignity.
Healthy relationships are key to long-term well-being.
Losing a child from the home (and the conditions that led to that moment) can be devastating; but families can recover and heal. Ultimately, every child wants to go home. Birth parents can, and do, heal. We believe the most important component of healing is support. Some parents get angry, others depressed, some stay in denial, others start quickly on their State Ordered Treatment Plan. For moms, a free, peer support group is available. A trained facilitator guides the discussion and encourages each participant to break down treatment plan goals into smaller tasks. All moms want their children back. “Moms Matter” helps them on their journey.
Children and foster parents want to be heard. Creating a Lifebook together heals the past and provides a starting point for dialogue and understanding. Our Story offers quality, in-home support to newly-formed foster families during the first six months of placement. Our coaches are seasoned foster parents who encourage and cultivate bonds of connection and belonging within the foster family. We want each child to rest, heal, and thrive in their placement until permanency is achieved.
When the case management team believes more sibling contact is needed, Sib-Link orchestrates additional visits at regular, monthly intervals. Sibling bonds grow. Anxiety related to loss and isolation lowers. Child well-being increases, as the foundation for a life-long connection is laid.
Children in foster care often fall behind in school. Many change schools when placed into care. Statistically, these students have the lowest academic scores and lowest high school graduation rates of any other group. We believe that every child in foster care deserves the opportunity of a quality tutor to help them reach their potential.
Teens who age out of foster care at ages 18-21 have rocky statistics. Only 33% have a driver’s license and 56% have a high school diploma. We believe our community can reverse these bleak statistics by matching teens with adult mentors to provide ongoing emotional support and guidance.Life Support mentors commit to visiting a youth in foster care twice per month, and this is often a multi-year commitment. Mentors actively listen to hopes, fears, and dreams. They become an important part of the child’s journey towards better outcomes.
While 70% of fostered youth want to go to college, only 30% apply, and less than 10% graduate. Those who do attend often have no family supporting their journey and easily drop out. Our goal is to encourage more youth to attend college, nurture their common bond, and provide accountability and support throughout their academic experience.
Now What?!®– Support for families who struggle with fostering a child. Now What?! provides a basis for discussion with other foster parents and professionals.
Our Common Loss® – Training where foster families learn to grieve the loss of a child who has left their home, either to go back to family or because there was a “disruption” in the foster home setting.
Reform is possible when caring individuals come together.
How can I become a foster parent? How can I help my community? Fostering Great Idea’s vision is to create a national online resource to house information about foster care and connect those who share a common interest. Visit Care2Foster.org.
This step-by-step process helps your church or organization reach out to those who need care and support.Steps for S.O.A.P. include:
(S) Support– Develop a Foster Adopt Support Team whose sole purpose is significant support to the congregants who foster and adopt.
(O) Options– Once foster and adoptive parents feel congregant support that is ongoing and meaningful, others in the ministry will see the Spirit’s work and ask to serve. Provide a range of options.
(A) Awareness– Now, the ministry team has grown and each member has purpose and understanding. At this point, it is time to reach out to the broader congregation, making them aware of the need, so they can join the work.
(P) Perseverance– No time to relax. Moving folks from awareness with events and celebrations into a commitment to the ministry’s difficult work is a critical, all-encompassing task.
A grass-roots effort relying upon the collective voices of passionate volunteers working together to bring about policy change. Learn more here.
What’s it like to live in foster care? How does it feel when your child is taken from you? How do foster parents cope? Explore these and other questions as a participant of Life in Limbo. As a participant, you choose to be a child in care, a foster parent, or a birth parent. Emotions run high as the children feel anxiety, anger, and hope. Foster parents do all they can to provide a stable environment. Birth parents get real – how badly do they want their child back, and are they able to “get clean” and meet their treatment plan. Discussion is robust and follow-up is provided for those who want to do more.
Life in Limbo has provided new perspective for over 5,000 participants in GA, CT, MI, SC, TX, VA, and Washington, D.C., as well as in Guatemala (through partnership with Houston’s First Baptist Church). Limbo is also developing in AZ, FL, IN, IL, and KY, as well as in Mexico.
Life in Limbo is an excellent resource for conferences, most notably as a plenary/keynote session (Adoption Exchange Association, Connecticut Alliance of Adoptive and Foster Homes, and Together GA). We would love to train your team to facilitate Life in Limbo for the local community, or come to your area conference as a plenary or keynote session.
View our Life In Limbo video to preview the experience:
Full program implementation guides, success measurement tools, and live consultations provided with each program. Contact Us today about launching one or more of these affordable programs in your community or organization.