Children in foster care rely on loving foster parents to provide stability and comfort – two things COVID-19 is threatening in families across the globe.

As parents everywhere struggle to balance home, work, homeschool, self-care and more, foster parents face added stressors with often limited support systems – but you can change that.

Here’s a few ways you can support a foster family:

  1. Say thank you. Foster families are often unsung heroes, but here is your chance to belt out their praises. Say thank you to a foster parent. Every day they keep children safe, encourage families to become stronger and help build a brighter tomorrow. Now – more than ever – their days are long, their work is hard, and still they serve. Let’s all show our appreciation.
  2. Stay home. Reduce the spread of COVID-19 by doing your part and staying home. Go out only for essentials including groceries and medical care. Remember: Stay home. Save lives.
  3. Pick up groceries. If you go out for essentials, consider shopping for a foster family that could use your support. BONUS: You’re also helping to limit the amount of people out and about.
  4. Provide a meal. Start a meal train to order delivery or purchase Grubhub gift cards to give foster parents a much-needed (and we promise a much-appreciated) break from cooking.
  5. Check in. Maintain and schedule communication to engage foster families socially. Video calls from loved ones can help entertain children and ease common feelings of anxiety, loneliness and boredom for the whole family. With safe distance, we can still remain close.
  6. Share only accurate, up-to-date information. Sharing false and outdated information can promote fear or panic. Although you need to stay informed, minimize exposure to media and social media that can sensationalize news. Children’s Home Society of Florida looks to the CDC for the latest COVID-19 news:
  7. Bring the fun. Families are working through extreme modifications in schedules and family time. For children in foster care, the disruption can feel extra scary. Help families engage in fun meaningful activities to bring everyone together. Purchase Busy Boxes, puzzles and books for delivery right to a foster family’s front door.

The National Child Traumatic Stress Network provides a full guide to helping families cope with COVID-19.