Foster Source Relief Services
During Covid-19, and until the summer of 2021, our relief service focus for foster families will be on:
1. Food Security & Basic Essentials – We continue to provide meals, groceries and diapers to supplement the food and supplies foster children would typically have access to for the 2020/2021 school year to normalize and unburden foster families at this time. As COVID-19 continues to evolve, we have noticed a significant drop in our regular support systems who provide 80% of food and donated services and support. Our volunteers are helping as much as possible, but many are unable to provide support as they too have been personally impacted by the threat of the COVID-19 virus and as a response to social distancing requirements throughout Colorado.
2. Educational Resources/Connectivity – Foster families are stepping up to the new challenges and working harder than ever to meet the added demands of caring for children who are suffering from emotional stress and pre-placement trauma. Resources, education, skill-building and communication through The Learning Source (our virtual classroom) are critically important to help provide stable homes for children in foster care. We need foster parents to continue fostering. Trauma-informed education and connectivity with other foster parents help our foster parents foster better and foster longer.
3. Mental Health/Telehealth Services – Our services subsidize regular mental/physical health sessions via Tele-Health for children in care, other children in the foster family, as well as the foster parents themselves. Our sponsorship of virtual therapy for foster parents has prevented placements from being disrupted.
In addition to the above, our ongoing relief services will continue as outlined below.
Limited funding often leads to foster parents not having all the tools and services they need to best parent the children in their care. Foster Source meets these needs quickly and at no cost to the parents. When a new child comes to a foster home, the foster parents need to focus on connecting with the child and nurturing the child so that the child can feel safe. By meeting the bigger needs for foster families, parents are able to direct their attention to the child. The four items that dominate our request list are:
1. Weighted Items – children in care often have sensory needs and benefit from items often not covered by insurance such as weighted blankets, vests or stuffed animals.
2. Car Seats – from infant carriers to booster seats for older children, foster families need safe, clean and newer car seats always.
3. Mattresses – our families and counties/CPAs can purchase mattresses at cost thanks to our partnership with Mattress Firm. When funding is not available from the county or agency, Foster Source, can sponsor mattresses for foster families.
4. Bunk Beds – foster families are always being asked to take more children. State regulations require a certain number of square feet between beds. When space is not available laterally, bunk beds are a practical solution.
In addition to the above items, Foster Source will provide any item that a foster family identifies that would soften the foster care experience for the family and/or the child in care. Nurtured foster parents foster better and foster longer. When this happens, children in care begin to heal sooner. We often help supply diapers as well as gift cards for items or experiences. We refer to partner agencies for clothing, holiday gifts and school supplies.