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meeps1142 t1_jcyjjid wrote

I also heard of someone who provides respite care -- essentially, she had custody of a girl every other weekend in order to relieve the mother.


kallistini t1_jcz2gb0 wrote

Great advice. Respite was a godsend to my mom when she was doing foster care, especially if there was a doctors appointment or something where it makes it awkward to corral a bunch of munchkins


siero20 t1_jczjbmm wrote

My mom has been fostering and to follow all the rules about having anyone take care of the kids in her absence is fairly insane. I'm currently the only approved person who can just watch them at the house because in order for someone to do that they need to be fingerprinted, fbi background check, interview with the caseworkers, etc.

Just getting myself approved took over 6 months even though we were quick about responding and providing everything they needed from me.

That means that respite care is often the only path to covering childcare in line with the rules (can't just hire a babysitter, not that you should have to!), and every time my mother has asked the caseworkers about scheduling respite care she has had to basically strong arm them to find a respite worker because they're in such short supply.

She's unfortunately had to go so far as saying she was going to have to give the kids back in one situation when they refused to find someone.

I guess my point is that providing respite care definitely will help a lot of foster parents as it really can be hard to follow the rules and have any breaks or keep up with what you need to do outside of taking care of the kids.


boutell1 t1_jczlbod wrote

That’s interesting about the babysitter option, I wonder if that is for certain cases only because my care coordinator said that I could hire a baby sitter or have my parents watch a child in my care so long as I felt comfortable with the individual.


siero20 t1_jczon6q wrote

Unfortunately it's a mixed bag. She'll have a case worker tell her she can do one thing but then the handbooks they give her explicitly forbid it fairly often. They're oftentimes not very knowledgeable about their own rules.

IIRC she can have the children stay at a babysitters house (that hasn't been viewed by CPS or reviewed for suitability) without breaking rules but cannot have a babysitter at her house to watch the kids.

The rules aren't very consistent and I think the majority of people just opt for not following them to the letter, but that's not generally how my mom operates so.


canentia t1_jd0g722 wrote

> IIRC she can have the children stay at a babysitters house (that hasn't been viewed by CPS or reviewed for suitability) without breaking rules but cannot have a babysitter at her house to watch the kids.

strange. feel like if anything, it should be the opposite


thelanoyo t1_jcz9smi wrote

This is what my fiancee and I are planning to do. We don't want the full commitment of taking care of a kid full time, but she was a foster child and wants to help in some way


CommonGround2019 t1_jcymi7t wrote

Do you have contact information?


HugeToaster t1_jcywed4 wrote

Find your local health and welfare office and ask.

Generally you need to take the same process as a foster parent, just only interested in respite. It varies by state though so definitely call the office and ask.


RoadsterTracker t1_jcyx9nv wrote

Start the same way you would by being a foster parent, but tell them you are only interested in doing respite. It's a needed piece of every foster care experience, and they will work with you. You likely will still have to get a foster care license, and take all of the training required to do so, but in the end essentially are a babysitter for however much time you will commit.


cgriswoldirl t1_jczhskx wrote

Respite care requires a background check but not full licensing, at least where I am at in CA. I have been a foster parent for 13 years, adopted three and fostered many more. Respite is a huge help to foster parents. Please sign up


ace_at_none t1_jczkdyy wrote

How exactly does it work? Are you "assigned" a family and schedule or do you basically go on a babysitter list so foster parents can contact you when/if they need help?


cgriswoldirl t1_jczsj04 wrote

You can go about it in two ways; you can be put on a list of available respite providers, or you can be a respite provider for an individual(s) or a family.

The 1st way you are available to who needs you, but you can still specify what age groups you can handle. No everyone can handle babies or teenagers and vice versa. My wife and I foster drug addicted and exposed kids from 0-5.

The second is often done by family friends or even other family members that want to help someone they know specifically. Obviously rules are different everywhere, making doing the right thing that much harder.


ex-apple t1_jczf88d wrote

My wife and I did this and it was a really tough, great experience. It’s such a worthwhile sacrifice to make if you have the time and space.


Cannanda t1_jd05r5t wrote

My family did this for years. We didn’t have the resources to take on a full child, so we had teens spend the weekend with us. They slept on the couch, but got the chance to have a fun weekend, full home cooked meals, and someone to support them. The last child we fostered from 15-18, helped him getting into college, my dad gave him his old car. He’s now 35, married and rather successful. Any help is some help


GenXChefVeg t1_jczlk59 wrote

I did this in college for parents who had disabled kids. Super rewarding and eye-opening if you haven't had much experience with disabled children.


boutell1 t1_jczkw2k wrote

Yes! I was going to add respite care as an option too. I became a licensed foster parent last year and at the time I was single. It was incredibly challenging to balance everything with the child I had assigned to me as a solo parent. That child was eventually reunited with their birth family but after that I explained to DCYF that I needed to only do respite care until my girlfriend moves in later this year and then I think we will be able to handle more full time care.


bullevard t1_jczedt6 wrote

I knew CASA was a thing but had never heard of this. Thank you for sharing.


Bighorn21 t1_jczkiws wrote

Correct, anyone who wants to do this can contact basically any foster care placement office (both nfp or for profit) and get trained and set up to provide respite. Then when needed they can call and you also most likely get paid for the service. The process is not short and they will need to do some background and training for obvious reasons but it helps out foster families tremendously.


mmdeerblood t1_jd0lm1b wrote

Does anyone here know how to only do respite care/apply for this?


unclosetedgoth t1_jcz1hjk wrote

My CASA bought my dream prom shoes and she was one of my most trusted adults ever. We went on lunch dates after court happenings and always ended the day with a melancholy laugh at it all and a warm hug. Made those days so much less terrifying. Miss Amy, I love you.


ReginaGeorgian t1_jczor6i wrote

That is so sweet. Thanks for sharing the personal impact one made on you!


halfeclipsed t1_jczsihi wrote

Are you still in contact?


unclosetedgoth t1_jcztt0n wrote

Yes! I actually just texted her today for the first time in years right after seeing this post. I am hopefully going to see her AND the judge that suggested her to my caseworker / saved my life one day soon :)


halfeclipsed t1_jd0gi64 wrote

That's awesome! Happy for you and hope many others get someone in their lives just like you did


RNnoturwaitress t1_jd011k2 wrote

I’m glad you have good memories! My mom was a CASA for a young girl for about 10 years. Unfortunately the girl killed herself around age 20. Her mom called my mom to let her know. I felt like she was my sister sometimes - and wasn’t always very nice. I have major regrets. I think my mom was a good presence in her life, though.


godcostume t1_jd00v1v wrote

I am just starting as a GAL and will meet my kiddo next week (Florida has GAL instead of CASA). I am so happy to have read this. I don’t have the time to be able to foster and I want to help.

Glad you had someone to help you through.


bigredcar t1_jcyeesn wrote

CASA is a tremendous organization.


bartlebysreply t1_jcz1876 wrote

I’ve wondered about doing this myself, but I don’t know if I’m qualified. Does one need to have any experience with navigating the judicial system, or any other specific experience? Also, does one need to pretty much put their lives on hold in terms of conflicting appointments or trips?


imaginethat1017 t1_jcz9kqg wrote

I was a casa for a year, before moving to a another country. It’s a bit more than just helping at court. You’re making sure the kid isn’t falling through the cracks when everyone else in the system is overwhelmed and overworked. There were services my casa child received only because casa was there to follow up. Everyone else forgot. Let me know if you have any questions.


GenXChefVeg t1_jczjgrn wrote

Same here. I made sure my clients got school / hobby materials (paid for by me, then reimbursed by CASA). I also had to complete court reports about their school progress, wellbeing, and share their opinions about placement, etc. with the judge.


mutilatedlama OP t1_jczfiju wrote

Thank you! I didn't know this part!


kylejwand09 t1_jd04nu2 wrote

I was a social worker and my perspective regarding CASA is that they are a person who helps bring the child’s voice to the team and the court. Each team member sort of advocates for things in a different way, and sometimes the child’s wishes are not specifically addressed. CASA helps that happen.


KickBallFever t1_jczp714 wrote

What was the time commitment like when you worked with casa? I’m interested, and have experience working with kids, but I work full time.


imaginethat1017 t1_jd02ydp wrote

It varies a lot over the course of the case. When the child first enters the system you’ll need to be on top of making sure doctors and teachers and case workers and foster parents are all working together. You would write a report for the judge and attend court. The first month might be 12 hours of work. Then there will likely be months where all you need to do is meet with the child and foster parent, then an email check in with CPS and the child’s lawyer. That would only be 3 hours. There were more 3 hour months than 12 hour. I served during covid times, so all court proceedings were online. That made it super easy… physically going in to court would run into daytime work hours. But I bet many reasonable employers would see the value of allowing that time.


KickBallFever t1_jd0kosc wrote

Thanks for the additional info. I checked out their website for my area and it doesn’t look like something I can commit to at the moment. It requires at least a one year commitment, and I work full time and am also going back to school in the fall. I’ll look into it again once I have more time to give. I’m interested in fostering in the future and this would be a great way for me to help out while learning about the process.


afcagroo t1_jczplbr wrote

My wife is a CASA. You don't need to have special qualifications going in. You apply and they will interview you. If you are accepted, there is a bunch of training. They also do ongoing yearly training, but it's not too onerous.

Once you are trained and assigned a case, you'll typically be working under a more experienced CASA who you can go to for help and advice. It's not usually a huge time sink. Visits with your kids every couple of weeks, court hearings, monthly written reports. Emails and phone calls with social workers and the family and the kids' attorney. You can work around appointments. For a long trip you might need your supervisor to help out, which is part of what they are there for.

Some cases can suck up quite a bit of time, but not usually for a protracted duration. It tends to come and go. Ideally, you only work a case for a few months to a year. Rare ones can drag out longer, but with long periods of low activity.

You don't really have to navigate the judicial system; there's an attorney "ad litem" who does that. But you will get training on the applicable laws so you know what you can and can't do.

You will want to set some boundaries, as there are people in the system who will take advantage of you if allowed. Some of the family members can be obnoxious, and some of the social workers are practically useless. Some parents will get pissy with you, and even some social workers. It can be frustrating at times.

If your experience is like my wife's, the kids will love you. And you will have the chance to make an important impact on their lives. Your role is all about what is best for them, not the parents or the court or anyone else. You are the only person who is just looking out for them and is only working with one family at a time (unless a case has gone mostly dormant so you can take on a new one).

Everyone else in the system has too many concurrent cases to give any single one the proper attention. You have virtually no actual power, but for the kids you might be the most important person in the process. You are the one who needs to raise a little hell when a child's needs are not being met. The kids usually seem to understand that you are there just looking out for them.

If you have the disposition for it, it seems to be very fulfilling and important work. I'm very proud of my wife for doing it.

At least, that's how it works in Colorado. Other states might do things a bit differently.


GenXChefVeg t1_jczw370 wrote

Your description is very similar to mine here in California.


mutilatedlama OP t1_jcz2t19 wrote

Not really, the biggest qualifier is a willingness to learn and be present for these kids. My understanding is that the CASA is used primarily on court days, foster parents manage the child's appointments, and transportation.


xZOMBIETAGx t1_jcz6nmx wrote

Not necessarily but it is a time and emotional commitment. It’s also a very welcoming and helpful program. You should reach out to the local branch and they can help you navigate expectations to see if it’s a good fit for you.


lawlorlara t1_jczht1c wrote

My sister does CASA and she has definitely had to cut a lot of family vacations short in order to show up for court dates. She also seems to write a lot of reports. But that's because it's a pretty important role -- her feedback informs decisions about whether to return kids to biological parents or allow them to be adopted into permanent new homes.


ImProdactyl t1_jczi7pw wrote

You don’t have to put your life on hold. I’ve worked in the CPS field for the last 3 years. Most of the CASAs I have seen are usually retired/older and enjoy helping the kids out, but I’ve known some other CASAs including my buddies wife who still have a job and do it on the side. Sure, you might have to take off work to attend court once every couple months, but a lot of it can be done on the side of your current job/life through weekends, evenings, or whenever.

I don’t think you need any specific experience either, as CASA advocates are volunteers. There is a shortage of advocates in my area, and I know CASA would love to have more people.


UntidyButterfly t1_jczleqa wrote

I just finished my CASA training! They teach you what you need to know and you'll have a supervisor and lots of help getting started. And the lady who trained us specifically said NOT to put your life on hold, and I had to sign a paper saying I would not be allowed more than one case unless I was able to prove I could handle it. The beginning of a case is a little hectic - there's several court dates you're asked to be at - but after that your only commitment is to visit with the child at least once a month and file a report on their needs.


inlandaussie t1_jd0n3wn wrote

What's CASA in America?

In Australia is Centre Against Sexual Assult


ACorania t1_jcyje6x wrote

Doing respite care is badly needed to. (Short term stuff, like just taking the kid for the weekend)


stokelymitchell t1_jcyrbo8 wrote

How does one get involved in this?


HugeToaster t1_jcyvunh wrote

Generally (it varies by state) you go through the same process as a foster parent but indicate you are only interested in respite. Sign up, fill out a bunch of paperwork, take a class once or twice a week for a month, and you are good to go. There's a small follow up like once a year. The social workers should reach out to you about needed respite.


stokelymitchell t1_jcyxu42 wrote

Amazing, this is very helpful, thank you.


HugeToaster t1_jcyyewa wrote

Contact your local health and welfare office and ask them what you need to do. They'll direct you.


therealCatnuts t1_jczhgal wrote

This varies by state, but in general the paperwork involved in signup is pretty onerous, just know that going in. The renewals and CE requirements and paperwork and home visits by social workers are less for respite-only caregivers than for full-time foster parents.


ImProdactyl t1_jczigbj wrote

You could go to any foster/adoption agency. They will likely have to license you in some way through trainings, classes, background checks, etc.


instant_ramen_chef t1_jcyi82k wrote

My dream is to build a place where older foster kids can come and learn important life skills. I want to build a large working farm where we can teach basic farming, butchering, culinary school. I want to teach basic things like how to make doctors appointments and how banks/credit works. I have 2 adopted kids who are grown now and my gf aged-out of the foster system. We feel like the older kids really get the shaft. They move from group home to group home until they turn 18 and are shown the door.


3owlsinatrenchc0at t1_jcynt0p wrote

There's a bookstore/secondhand shop where I live that basically has this premise. They hire kids who've aged out of the foster system or are about to so that they can get some work experience, the idea being to involve them really closely in the running of the business so that they learn skills they can take with them. My understanding is they also have programs for life skills and generally getting on their feet. I try to donate and shop there as much as I can because they do such important work. I could totally see where a farm would lend itself really well to this too.


Tech_Philosophy t1_jcz1ke4 wrote

> I want to build a large working farm where we can teach basic farming, butchering, culinary school.

If it's about teaching young people, make sure the crops/products are what will actually be farmed on a hotter Earth.

I'm having some serious conversations with my farming tenants regarding how much longer they really want to grow wheat and maybe they should make the switch to kernza sooner rather than later.


instant_ramen_chef t1_jcz83vc wrote

To be honest, it's probably gonna be more gardening than farming. As far as the livestock goes, I would want to do some dairy cows and goats. A few head of steer for beef and maybe a couple horses. And lots of chixkens! I would like to grow foods we can use to teach the cooking classes. Teach real farm-to-table.


smurtzenheimer t1_jcz4t6t wrote

Thank you so much for this. Foster families need so so much more support than governments provide. Stronger, broader social support like the things mentioned in this post are vital to closing the gaps by even a little bit.

I'm originally from California and I learned recently that upwards of 70% (SEVENTY PERCENT!) of currently incarcerated individuals in the state of California (hundreds of thousands of people) are former foster youth.

These kids need us, whether we are able to bring them into our homes or not.


mutilatedlama OP t1_jcz5my9 wrote

Thank you, I think this is the part a lot of people miss. It is so easy to look at a kid and see the behavior. It is much harder to see what caused the behavior and make an effort to correct


GenXChefVeg t1_jczkq06 wrote

A big piece of this is the neglecting of mental health. Many folks who cannot take care of their kids have undiagnosed mental health issues (often self-medicated by drug abuse, etc). Their kids end up in foster care AND may have those same, undiagnosed mental health issues. Depending on the diagnosis, behaviors can downward spiral into a criminal record.

This is not the case for everyone, of course. This is what I've observed teaching fostercare students, being a CASA, and being the parent of a kid adopted out of foster care. It's a challenging path for anyone involved.


GenXChefVeg t1_jcytyur wrote

I was a CASA, AMA :)


whitestainedress t1_jcyyj3i wrote

I work a 9-5 that's pretty strict about time off, my only free days from work are Sundays and Mondays, do you think I can still be a good candidate to be a CASA?


GenXChefVeg t1_jcz1gwn wrote

I would think so. I was usually seeing my clients 1x week for a few hours or whole afternoon. Their social worker from the county saw them for 10 minutes, once a month. I was able to provide a lot more accurate and up to date info regarding the child's status.

Edit: If during the week, best to visit them after school.


yaboproductions t1_jcyzd5o wrote

Similar to this, just curious about the time commitment as a whole!


TheGravyMaster t1_jcz79uu wrote

How has it effected you mentally? Do you hear horrible stories from the kids? Or just be there for them.


GenXChefVeg t1_jczk49j wrote

Lots of horrible situations, lots of weird stuff. One of my clients was placed into foster care with a biological relative who had their own issues. The CASA I worked with had a long training process, which was quite helpful. I was also a teacher, so I already had experience with kids and their parents / guardians. This helped.

You're not giving the kids therapeutic counseling. You're giving them emotional support, and recording / reporting what you learn about them and their situation. You can be a squeaky wheel and try to get them more of what they need, but it doesn't always workout.


TheGravyMaster t1_jczklep wrote

I want to do it but I dotn think I can handle hearing anything of a sexual abuse type of thing. I'd end up trying to hurt the abuser.

I'm glad for people like you existing. I could've used someone like that when I was little.


GenXChefVeg t1_jczl1h9 wrote

You can choose who you want to work with (age, gender, situation). You are more likely to have interactions with the foster parents than thw bio parents, though you may see them in court once every few months. Sometimes the bio parents are in jail already, and are brought to court by the jail just to attend the hearing.


TheGravyMaster t1_jczlw9s wrote

Thats good. I'll reach out and see if they'd have any use for me for cases that don't involve SA.


HugeToaster t1_jcyy0wz wrote

Respite care is immensely needed all over.

Relief for foster parents and taking temp placements for kids who just came into the system or other emergencies is a huge deal. otherwise these kids end up staying in the office with a social worker or at a hotel room until they can find a placement. There is never enough.

Please volunteer if you can. They pay you for your trouble. Particularly if you are older and kids out of the house, you probably have the time and space to take a kid for 2 days so they don't have to be taken from their parents and spend the next night in the health and welfare office.


natnguyen t1_jczkvfr wrote

I did not know respite care was a thing. I want to foster but I think I’m going to start with respite. Thank you for this!


HugeToaster t1_jczzva6 wrote

That's a good point. Doing respite is a good way to dip your toes and see if it's something you want to do for a long term placement. while my wife and I did foster immediately, we ended up taking a few short term placements and respite before actually taking a long term placement.

Ps.s we should be adopting in a couple months!

Good luck!


Shineonyoucrazybish t1_jcym2xb wrote

CASA here- there are many ways to help out, either financially or with time!


PrisonerV t1_jcyuerr wrote

So standing outside Planned Parenthood calling women whores isn't helping?


keepthetips t1_jcy7ivc wrote

Hello and welcome to r/LifeProTips!

Please help us decide if this post is a good fit for the subreddit by up or downvoting this comment.

If you think that this is great advice to improve your life, please upvote. If you think this doesn't help you in any way, please downvote. If you don't care, leave it for the others to decide.


bansawbanchee t1_jczoujg wrote

Facts. Source. I was a foster kid. 9-18. Just having a what I would call a mentor. Someone who hangs with me for a few hours a week or some shit helped me become who I am today.


skintwo t1_jczt1bn wrote

This is exactly what I'd like to offer - was cash through the system being described here, or something else?


bansawbanchee t1_jczv4pk wrote

I never got cash. Matter of fact.. my mother died and the state of FL was taking my wocial security check every month... until I found out at 14 and had my case worker setup a trust and have it go in there until I was 18. The state wouldn't let me have more than 10k of my own money. It took two years after 18 to get it


bansawbanchee t1_jczvbkl wrote

But yea. Mentors are what these kids need. Time spent with someone who at least they think gives a shit. No judgment, just hanging out doing fun stuff. Out to eat.. ylu know how many don't know what the inside of chili's looks like. Or chikfila... or a movie theater. Funs pot. Shit that costs 40 bucks.


translucentdreamer t1_jczl5uy wrote

Big Brothers Big Sisters is another great way to get involved and be an added support to a child’s life.

BBBS is a one to one mentorship program that matches kids to adult volunteers in the community with the goal of defending the potential that child already holds.

To learn more about the different programs and find the agency closest to you, go to


NotFitToBeAParent t1_jcz4t6b wrote

I went through the Foster Care system a few years ago with my wife when we were deciding to be parents.

At least where I am, the Foster Care program is one of the most corrupt things I've ever been involved with. They claim to be there for the kids, but EVERYTHING they do is to secure their funding FIRST.

The 9mo old they placed with us got removed from our loving, providing home in favor of her drugged out mother 2 months after placement. I've never felt like such a failure of a human being as when i was dropping that angel off on her drugged out parents' doorstep.

Terrible experiences. While I understand none of this is the children's fault and they still need help and loving homes, the system is broken and irreparable IMO. Burn it down and start over.


mutilatedlama OP t1_jcz5ygo wrote

To me, this means the pa=ends didn't get the support they need. It is very easy to look at someone choosing drugs over their child and give no real thought to what drove them there.

So many kids in the system are second and even 3rd generation foster kids. There do need to be major changes made, but those major changes start somewhere small - like mowing a yard and donating clothes


Prestigious_Ebb_5994 t1_jd0cdie wrote

Well said! I think it’s hard to have empathy sometimes but so necessary. People don’t choose to suffer or struggle in life, addiction is a disease. Of course it will still impact the child negatively and that is horrible but this is a structural problem in our world truly


GenXChefVeg t1_jczm9nw wrote

Big hugs to you both. We turned down any placements that did not have parental rights already terminated and STILL ended up being at risk of losing our child (who we intended to adopt from Day One) a year into fostering. It was incredibly stressful.


NotFitToBeAParent t1_jd01p0u wrote

Adoption was our goal as well. We've since become Auntie and FUNcle, are are happy with that.


ImProdactyl t1_jczl39a wrote

A little bit late to the post, but I have worked in the CPS field for 3 years now. I know plenty about the foster care system, adoption, CASA, other agencies and more. Would love to help with any questions or information regarding all this!

As many comments have said, CASA and respite are great ways to assist kids of the system. Also check out other ways to assist. Get with a local foster/adoption agency and just ask them about options. Any and all help would benefit many kids. Maybe check with local emergency shelters, group homes, or residential treatment centers as these are placements for many children of the system who aren’t in a foster home. They might need assistance, donations, or volunteers for different things.

There are also so many ways which indirectly help the cause. Counseling services, parenting classes, visitation services, etc. These are all being used by families and/or children of the system to help the kids/parents through the cases. Check with your local CPS agency. You can likely volunteer for certain events or other tasks which could indirectly help the agency and system in serving children.


puppiesgalore t1_jd01trh wrote

I am a permanent resident with green card, can I volunteer with CASA?


ImProdactyl t1_jd022zp wrote

Not entirely sure as I have only worked beside CASA. I don’t know the specifics with a green card, but I would likely think that you could. I would suggest just looking up and talking with your local CASA and asking.


Egotisticeggplant t1_jczxf45 wrote

As somebody that has been through the system and in and out of foster homes throughout most their childhood, you all have no idea (or maybe you do) how much these things help. When. I was a kid it just felt like I was being dragged through the system with no idea what was going on or why. Many times I was taken to homes without any of my own clothes. Another time due to a complaint every child was removed from the home but somehow there was a disconnect and I was in the home myself with the foster parents and my social worker was nowhere to be found. I don't know what happened, I was young, I just remember being stuck there 2-3 days longer after all the other kids were removed. And I was the one that put in the complaint and the foster parents knew it.


Prestigious_Ebb_5994 t1_jd0ckk5 wrote

That sounds horrible I’m sorry to hear that. You def didn’t deserve it. I’ve often thought about fostering or adopting, I hope we can make this world a better place!!


CommonGround2019 t1_jcymm5q wrote

Do you have contact information for CASA?


GenXChefVeg t1_jcyua2o wrote

My MIL did it in Florida, it was called being a Guardian Ad Litem (sp) not CASA. might want to Google that as well.


ImProdactyl t1_jczj0pm wrote

CASA is the organization. Often times a CASA advocate is appointed by the court to be the Guardian Ad Litem (GAL) for the child. Sometimes a child’s attorney or Attorney Ad Litem is appointed as the GAL as well for the child. Maybe it differs depending on area if volunteers can sign up to be GAL, but for my area, you would have to be a CASA or attorney for that.


GenXChefVeg t1_jczld0e wrote

I believe my MIL was a GAL but not through a local CASA. Probably just a regional difference. Her client was a baby who was eventually adopted by their foster parents.


mutilatedlama OP t1_jcyp15i wrote

Most counties will have their own casa office, I would recommend Googling your county and casa and it should get you to the right place


DatAssPaPow t1_jd04p1m wrote

My friend runs a pajama charity called JAMBOS you can support as well! Their mission is to bring comfort to kids in the foster care system through new pajamas. Often children are quickly transitioned into foster care and they bring very little to none of their own belongings. Jambos gives foster kids a brand new pair of pajamas they can call their own. Please consider supporting them!


camlmlm t1_jd088y3 wrote

My CASA worker when I was a preteen-teen had a huge influence on me. I wish I had stayed in touch so that she can see the woman I have become.


incredibolox t1_jczuljm wrote

I had 5 different Foster kids grow up with me at different parts. All were different ages and had different needs. Having safe or different people for someone to stay with for a while makes a big difference. My first Foster sister was 14 and basically looked after herself to a large degree aside from needing to be kept an eye on. 2 had learning and developmental disabilities, and while it made life a bit exciting and unexpected honestly most of the time it was just a novelty. They had quirks that their full time carers just needed a break from every 2 months or so. Probably shouldn't say this but that value you can give to someone does actually come back to you not inconsiderably money wise too, my mother was always honest about that when people said she was "a Saint I could never do it" etc. The older kids are actually where people need to step up more.


Nekrofeeelyah t1_jczx8hu wrote

I looked up the nearest foster pantry to me and they're very selective about what you can donate.

Is this common? I have quite a bit of gently used stuff that's perfectly fine, but they seem to only want brand new things.


mutilatedlama OP t1_jd0iizm wrote

That isn't the case in my area, our foster closet operates more like a Goodwill (except under clothes and hygiene items have to be new)


woodnote t1_jd0aeih wrote

Thanks so much for this. I am not maternal and am childfree, but I've often thought about being a foster parent because the plight of those kids weighs on me. I had no idea there were options beyond straight up becoming a parent. I'm going to check out these options in my area


joeypotter531 t1_jd0bpda wrote

There are some mentoring programs that match volunteers with kids in or aging out of foster care. My mentee and I have been matched for 8 years and we’ve been through a lot together…several foster homes and families, court with her birth parents, issues with new schools, etc. You don’t have to know everything to be a good mentor, you just have to show up consistently with love, compassion, and patience! My mentee told me I was the first adult in her life who wasn’t being paid to be there…that is meaningful.


_---_--x t1_jczkgkh wrote

This is all news to me and such an incredible share! Keep raising awareness of this, I love to see stuff like this get more attention.


bruck177 t1_jczta3a wrote

Does this apply to the UK or is it USA exclusive?


mutilatedlama OP t1_jd0ioyf wrote

My information is US based, but kids are kids wherever they are, I would reach out to local youth shelters or foster organizations to find out the specific needs of your area


Real_Srossics t1_jczwez7 wrote

I volunteer with my local Big Brothers Big Sisters as an older sibling to a young person who needs some stability in their life.

It’s not technically the same, but I do help our youth.


jessiepridemore t1_jczyr8s wrote

I do charity work with CASA. They are a really great organization. I grew up in the system myself, so it's awesome seeing things like this.


Opening_Director_6 t1_jd0220g wrote

one of the reasons i chose my sorority is bc our philanthropy is CASA 🫶🏼 it’s so moving how important CASA volunteers are


_cedarwood_ t1_jd03ojh wrote

As a Community Mental Health worker, I love this so much. There are wonderful people who want to help foster kids, but who also make horrrrrrible parents.


Rhone33 t1_jd051gq wrote

I used to work in residential and inpatient psych with kids and I loved CASA workers so much. Having an adult in your life that is still there for you even when you're bouncing between foster homes and group homes with no stable parent can make such a big difference.


Hahawney t1_jd07o7p wrote

I knew a family who made ‘requests’ for donations to DVIS and some other places, for kids birthday gifts. Kids were old enough to know why donations in place of more toys was an option, and most people did buy them things to donate.


stare_at_the_sun t1_jd07sf6 wrote

Thank you OP. I want to slowly integrate myself into that world. This is valuable information 🙏


lolol69lolol t1_jd0a7kd wrote

I’m actually going to be seriously looking into becoming a CASA in the very near future! Super excited about it


yellowflamingobro t1_jd0ams4 wrote

Foster parenting hurts but it’s so rewarding. I’m a foster parent in the process of reuniting a little girl with her bio dad… I don’t wanna cry.. but yeah..


WickerpigT t1_jd0bf6o wrote

I did what's called transient care. You take in kids that have just come from their home before they can get into a foster home. It can be a few hours to weeks. The kids can come at anytime of the day or night, you may get a call 30 minutes before they get to your house.


PokeballSoHard t1_jd0f7fc wrote

How does a foster parent in need get these services??


mutilatedlama OP t1_jd0ksum wrote

Reach out to you and your child's team - record everything, and push for what you and your child need for success. Unfortunately we often have to be our own advocates, but sometimes being a little pushy is the best way to get these kiddos some help


PokeballSoHard t1_jd0lyhc wrote

I guess what I mean to ask is this: Are these resources available to everyone? If not who are they available to? I know we have to advocate for our kids because if we don't now body else will


coconut101918 t1_jd0gl90 wrote

Thank you so much for this post… right on time!


Sbhill327 t1_jd0hk1b wrote

Also many foster children are in need of a good suitcase.


ChewedGum_ t1_jd0nban wrote

As a former foster child. Some of yall should really listen to this advice because I was better off in a group home instead of with some of these fosters. Some of yall shouldn't have children neither.

Respite care is another thing aswell btw or volunteer at a grouphome


mflbeyotch t1_jd03seq wrote

Now I hear this.



TaxidermyDentist t1_jd09w3c wrote

I fostered for a few years. The courts gave back kids to parents that raped their own kids. The only parents I saw out of hundreds that lost their rights failed to pass a drug test for marijuana.

Sexual abuse, physical abuse and neglect are fine to the system. Not one out of dozens of foster care workers went out on a limb for the kids, they all went through the motions because they were afraid to lose their jobs.

The director or the state system we fostered in was married to the state placement manager. They adopted two separate kids from placements where rights were terminated.

I stopped supporting the system because as much as we did, we only propped up the nightmare.


IRGood t1_jd0e8r9 wrote

Everyone I’ve met doing foster care used it as a business and it was super sad. Just way too many kids in one spot not getting the attention they need. The weird thing was the profit was almost nothing. So it was more of an “I make nothing but look how much I am helping” type thing while not doing well by anyone. So weird. It’s like people that run animal rescues but can’t afford to take care of their own kids.


Flair_Helper t1_jd0o5bb wrote

Hello mutilatedlama, thank you for your submission! Unfortunately, it has been removed for the following reason:

Your post is not a life pro tip. Advice is any guidance or recommendation concerning prudent future action. An aphorism is a short clever saying that is intended to express a general truth or a concise statement of a principle.Try r/YouShouldKnow.

If you would like to appeal this decision please feel free to contact the moderators here. Do not repost without explicit permission from the moderators. Make sure you read the rules before submitting. Thank you!


TheGravyMaster t1_jcz73pf wrote

Id love to get involved with being there for the kids but I'd end up catching a case because I'd rage at their abusers. First kid who mentions sexual assault I'm murdering someone.


FlowJock t1_jd051po wrote

If you can't control your temper, it's probably best that you're not around kids anyway.


Lylac_Krazy t1_jczrie2 wrote

I stopped donating my time when parents started acting out years ago.

Good if it works for others, but when it can affect my career, thats a nope right the heck outta there.