Maybe you've already made some New Year's resolutions this year (or broken a few!). Either way, we have a few simple suggestions to add to your list. :)
1. Encourage one person this year to consider foster care. Is there a family in your neighborhood or church who you have always thought would make great foster parents? Tell them! Share how great you think they are with kids, and ask them if they've ever considered it. Many people have become foster or adoptive parents simply because someone asked them. And regardless of whether they end up pursuing more information, that kind of compliment is very meaningful.
2. Take a new kind of training class. If you are a current foster or adoptive parent, consider stepping out of your comfort zone with a new training class this year. For example, maybe you've never fostered teens, but have been thinking about it for awhile. A teen-focused training would be a great way to explore the idea and ask questions.
3. Thank a social worker. Social workers have a tough and sometimes thankless job. How about brightening someone's day with a simple card thanking them for choosing this field and for the difficult work they do for kids and families?
4. Write your legislator. Handwritten letters can make a big impact on legislators, who get countless emails and form letters. Tell your legislator that you hope he or she will support initiatives this year that benefit kids and families and provide support for youth in foster care. IFAPA has some great resources posted about legislative issues involving foster care and adoption in Iowa.
5. Be a friend. If you really want to do something special this year, consider getting involved as a mentor or permanency partner with a teen in foster care or a young adult who has recently aged out of the system. Even simple support, like sharing life advice on getting a car loan or renting an apartment or just being there to listen when someone needs to talk, can make a big difference. Check out some great ideas from Foster Club. You can also connect with Iowa youth in care through Elevate.
Did you make any New Year's resolutions this year? Let us know how it's going!