Foster Swell Campaign for Foster Care
Foster Love. Foster Kindness. Foster Swell.
A Celebration of National Foster Care Awareness Month in May
Swell Forever is about stories, legacies, joy, giving back and paying love forward. A Mother's Love is pretty incredible and I love getting to celebrate this month as a fairly new mom. But I am so excited to embrace this beautiful month of May as an opportunity to bring a bit more light and clarity on this thing called foster care that affects every little aspect of our society and a boat load of lives.
Four hundred thousand plus children of all ages, backgrounds, and demographics find a place called home through the foster care system every year. Right now 100,000+ children in this system, where the state takes over for the welfare of a child, are awaiting adoption. Of these children, 32% will wait more than THREE years for their adoption. Many age out without ever having an official family or place to call home.
There are a ton of lives in the balance in foster care.
Ever faced lack of direction in your life? Try living life with a lack of direction and clarity on what is next. Every. single. day.
Through the #fosterswell social media campaign, I want to do more than just talk about numbers and highlight the sad fact that we as a society have to have a system to protect children whose families are unable to do so.
I want to share stories from real foster parents who have made sacrifices and knowing much of the negative "press" that goes along with foster care (and some of it is realistic), still accepts the opportunity to step in and parent a child who needs unconditional love and a lot of understanding. Since launching Swell Forever, I have heard a few "horror stories." Let's be real. Children are not taken from their homes because mom is too busy making birthday cakes and baking cookies.
However, more than anything, I have heard stories that show astounding hope and beauty even through the worst of tragedies and heartbreak. Foster care is something that should matter to everyone. It should not just be about social workers (many overworked and exhausted) and the handful of families that step up to the plate to call their house a home. This campaign is a chance to raise awareness for needs and the reality that people in our community can use our support and love.
The #fosterswell campaign is a wonderful opportunity to ask yourself how you play a role in their lives. I invite you to read the stories of those who have put their heart into this campaign!
More in the Foster Swell Series:
- Hidden Faces
- Three Simple Truths
- Resilience: A Face of Foster Care
- Fragile Placements
- Full House
- Adoption Road
- Foster Swell: With Cloth
If you don't feel compelled to explore foster parenting, maybe you can consider training to be a respite family for shorter term childcare, get involved with short term crisis care through a group like Safe Families for Children, become a court advocate for kids through CASA, or simply Google foster care resources in your community and see where the needs are.
Try to identify foster families and help with meals, home projects, mowing the grass, anything that helps take one more load off their back. Simple events like prom, taking vacations, etc. can all be challenging in the foster care system. Even if you make a promise to yourself that each year you identify a teen in foster care that could use a gift card towards a tux or special dinner out, you will be filling a gap that otherwise gets left open. Sometimes the simplest little things can be such a barrier for those affected by foster care.
Find an agency, family or organization in the foster care world and simple ask "How can I help?"
If you happen to be on Facebook, Twitter and especially Instagram, please consider sharing the #fosterswell hashtag throughout the Month of May and beyond. Anytime you take a photo that inspires you to #fosterswell or think about the needs of children and families in foster care, let the world know. Snuggling with your number one fan one night and you think about the children who need your kind of love?
Hashtag the photo to help us raise awareness for those children. Be as creative as you want to be just help us #fosterswell from here on out. Instagram hastags will be automatically entered for weekly prizes from collaborating brands and we have tons of gorgeous giveaways with brands who care and want to get the word out as far and wide as possible. See details below for entry!
Enjoy your May, think of the mamas you hold dear, the children you love, the family you adore and please join us all month as we #fosterswell for those who need our support and voice.
You reading this post is big. Thank you. Let's do this. :)