May is Foster Care Awareness Month

April 28, 2024

Teen girl looking at selfie on phone with family

Understanding the Need: Common Stats Highlighting the Need for Support

To comprehend the significance of Foster Care Awareness Month, it’s crucial to examine the statistics surrounding foster care. These statistics underscore the urgent need for support and intervention to ensure the well-being and future success of children in foster care.

  1. According to the latest data from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, there are approximately 424,000 children in foster care nationwide.
  2. Each year, over 20,000 youth “age out” of the foster care system without the support of a permanent family. These young adults face increased risks of homelessness, unemployment, and involvement in the criminal justice system.
  3. Children in foster care experience higher rates of mental health challenges, with studies showing that nearly half of foster youth have clinical-level emotional or behavioral problems.

Practical Ways to Support Children in Foster Care: Individual Involvement

As we shine a spotlight on Foster Care Awareness Month, we’d like to share some practical ways individuals, churches, and businesses can extend a helping hand to these deserving youth.

1. Become a Foster Parent

For Christians, the decision to become a foster parent is often deeply rooted in their faith and belief in the principles of love, compassion, and service to others. Embracing the call to care for vulnerable children in need reflects the teachings of Jesus Christ, who emphasized the importance of caring for the marginalized and showing kindness to those who are suffering. Becoming a foster parent is seen as an embodiment of these values, providing a tangible opportunity to extend God’s love and grace to children who may have experienced trauma or hardship. Christians who choose to open their hearts and homes to foster children often view it as a sacred duty and a way to live out their faith in a practical and meaningful way.

Consider opening your heart and home to a child in need by becoming a licensed foster parent. Agencies like Palmer Home for Children provide training and support to guide you through the process. Learn more about upcoming foster care interest meetings here.

2. Mentorship and Volunteering

Offer your time and skills to mentor children in foster care or volunteer at organizations that support them. Mentoring a child in foster care can serve as a beacon of stability and support in what may otherwise be a tumultuous environment. For a child navigating the complexities of foster care, having a consistent and caring mentor can foster a sense of belonging and validation. By providing a dependable presence and positive role model, mentors can help children in foster care develop a more positive self-image and self-esteem.

Through regular interactions and guidance, mentors can empower these children to recognize their strengths, talents, and inherent worth, counteracting feelings of rejection or inadequacy that may arise from their circumstances. By offering encouragement, praise, and constructive feedback, mentors can help build resilience and confidence in foster children, equipping them with the tools they need to navigate life’s challenges with a sense of self-assurance and optimism. Whether it’s tutoring, organizing activities, or simply providing a listening ear, your presence can make a world of difference.

Through meaningful interactions and mentorship activities, children can gradually develop a more positive self-concept and a deeper appreciation for their unique qualities and potential. By fostering a sense of agency and self-worth, mentors empower children in foster care to envision brighter futures and pursue their goals with determination and resilience. Ultimately, mentoring relationships can be transformative, instilling in children the confidence and self-belief they need to thrive despite the adversities they may face.


3. Donate Supplies and Resources

Many children enter foster care with little more than the clothes on their backs. Consider donating essential items such as clothing, school supplies, and toiletries to help meet their basic needs. To learn more about how to donate to Palmer Home for Children or to receive a list of items we are particularly in need of, please contact our Community Outreach Coordinator Anna Bell at


a group of individuals from varying ethnic backgrounds is gathered around a table with bibles in prayer

How Churches Can Support Children in Foster Care

The statistics underscore the urgent need for support and intervention to ensure the well-being and future success of children in foster care. Churches have a unique calling to help widows and orphans. Here are a few ways churches can support children in foster care.

1. Foster Care Ministry

Encourage your church to establish a foster care ministry dedicated to supporting foster families and children in your community. This ministry can provide practical assistance, emotional support, and spiritual guidance to those involved in foster care. From providing awareness of the need for foster families to supporting those in foster care, churches are uniquely equipped to share how children in need of hope and healing can be loved and supported through a corporate body of believers committed to honoring the dignity of all people.

2. Respite Care Programs

Develop respite care programs within your church to provide temporary relief and support to foster families. Offering a few hours of childcare or assistance with household tasks can provide much-needed respite to foster parents. Learn more about respite care opportunities at Palmer Home here.

3. Awareness and Education

Host events, workshops, or guest speakers to raise awareness about the foster care system and educate congregants about ways they can get involved. By fostering a culture of compassion and support, churches can play a vital role in transforming the lives of children in foster care. If you are interested in partnering with Palmer Home to host information sessions to learn more about how to get involved, please contact us. Learn more about upcoming foster care interest meetings and trauma-informed training opportunities available to the public here.


a woman wearing a volunteer t-shirt smiles at the camera

How Businesses Can Support Children in Foster Care

Businesses can also support children in their communities needing hope and healing. Here are a few ways to consider supporting organizations like Palmer Home providing hope and healing for children in need.

1. Corporate Sponsorship Opportunities

Partner with organizations like Palmer Home for Children to sponsor programs and initiatives that support children in foster care. Your financial support can help fund vital services such as counseling, education, and enrichment activities all while enjoying brand awareness for your company or organization.

Palmer Home hosts a number of annual events that offer a chance to provide corporate sponsorship. This includes:

  • Mudbug Bash – Hernando, MS
  • Shoot for Hope Sporting Clays Tournament – Hernando, MS
  • Radiothon for Palmer Home – Virtual or In-Person in Hernando, MS
  • Shotguns & Sunflowers Southern Soiree – Memphis, TN
  • Mississippi State Tailgate for Palmer Home – Starkville, MS
  • Ole Miss Tailgate for Palmer Home – Oxford, MS

Learn more about sponsorship opportunities here.

2. Employee Volunteer Programs

Encourage your employees to participate in volunteer opportunities and fundraising events that benefit children in foster care. Offering paid volunteer time or matching employee donations can incentivize engagement and maximize impact.

Research and corporate volunteer studies indicate volunteer opportunities can also be a draw for potential employees, particularly for younger employees.

  • Employees are five times more engaged in companies with employee volunteer programs.
  • Millennials prefer to work for corporations active and engaged in corporate social responsibility initiatives.
  • Consumers prefer social and environmentally conscious brands.

3. Job Training and Employment Opportunities

Create pathways for youth aging out of foster care to access job training, internships, and employment opportunities within your company. By providing stable employment and mentorship, businesses can empower these young adults to achieve self-sufficiency and success.

Encourage young adults in foster care through career and education. Take part in our annual Discovery Camp’s College & Career Day, where professionals have a chance to share more about their field of work, paving the way for a young person in foster care to learn more about career opportunities available to them.


Commit to Supporting Children In Foster Care This May

By implementing these practical strategies, individuals, churches, and businesses can make a meaningful difference in the lives of children in foster care. As we observe Foster Care Awareness Month, let’s renew our commitment to supporting and advocating for these resilient youth, ensuring that they have the love, stability, and opportunities they need to thrive. Together, we can build a brighter future for every child in foster care.

Let us know how you’re participating in #FosterCareAwarenessMonth by tagging us on social media or follow along on Facebook or Instagram to see the latest from Palmer Home this month as we work to shed light on how we can all support children in care.

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