Help build Communities of Hope
Families and other caring adults are our greatest asset in assuring that children are safe and have what they need to thrive. That’s what building Communities of Hope is about — working together across all sectors of society to support the safety and well-being of every child and family. It’s a shared responsibility with many available roles. Explore these resources for ideas on how to get started in any sector.
- Learn more about foster care and gain a better understanding of the needs of children and families. Explore information about children in foster care by state. Learn more about your community’s demographics and opportunities. Visit FosterMore, FosterClub, the National Resource Center for Youth Services and the Child Welfare Information Gateway for more facts and data.
- Learn how to support and partner with birth parents. Visit the Birth Parent National Network to learn more.
- Learn how resource parents can partner with birth parents for the benefit of the children. Visit the Birth & Foster Parent Partnership to learn more.
- Learn how to support relatives raising youth. Visit Grandfamilies to learn more.
- Connect with a family resource center in your area. Visit the National Family Support Network to learn more.
- Contribute to a young person’s academic success. Visit Foster Care to Success, LifeSet Network and FosterMore to learn how you can work with a local foster care program to provide academic opportunities for young people in your community.
- Connect with our partners for more opportunities to participate.
- Represent a child. Court appointed special advocates (CASAs) and guardians ad litem (GALs) are trained citizens appointed by judges to represent the best interests of abused and neglected children. Visit the National CASA/GAL Association for Children for more information.
- Become a resource parent. Learn about becoming a Casey Family Programs resource parent. Visit the National Foster Parent Association or the Foster Family-Based Treatment Association. FosterClub offers online training for resource parents.
- Learn more from the North American Council on Adoptable Children and AdoptUSKids.
- Casey Family Programs does not solicit or accept donations for itself or on behalf of any other organization. However, there are other organizations that welcome donations of private funds and goods to help improve the lives of young people in foster care. You may search Network for Good to find such organizations serving young people in your community.
- Align your company’s policies to support families, including kinship, foster and adoptive parents. Allow them to use the Family and Medical Leave Act when a child joins their family. Allow time off work or flexible schedules for parents to attend court hearings and mandated services.
- Share your innovation, expertise and influence with community organizations, helping them increase their impact.
- Provide paid internships for youth to gain professional experience.
- Mentor a youth who is in or experienced foster care. Research shows that children and youth with mentors earn higher grades and improve their relationships with friends and families. Visit MENTOR for more information.
- Speak up. Through media channels or even in your personal networks, lend your voice to raise awareness about the challenges of youth in foster care and the work of birth parents and kinship and foster families.
- Partner with foundations that have similar objectives.
- Serve on a nonprofit board working to prevent abuse and neglect and help children and families succeed. Visit the Child Welfare Information Gateway and Prevent Child Abuse America for ideas.
- Help your employees volunteer and give back to the community.
- Donate to an organization that supports children and families.
- Get to the table. Build relationships with state, regional and local child welfare system stakeholders, including child welfare leaders, judges, attorneys, CASA programs, advocacy groups, and service providers – especially those providing housing, mental health supports, substance abuse treatment and concrete supports.
- Leverage your relationships and bring others to the table.
- Support nonprofit or government strategies for scaling, demonstration or innovation of efforts within the practice area of your interest.
- Invest in convenings and other strategies to improve community-driven collaboration and integrated functioning among the five sectors of philanthropy, nonprofit and faith-based, government/public, business and community members.
- Invest in leadership, supervisory and front-line human capacity development for government, nonprofit and constituent groups.
NONPROFIT AND FAITH-BASED
- Advocate on behalf of youth and families. Visit FamilyVoicesUnited and FosterClub to learn more about the perspectives and needs of families, youth and kinship caregivers.
- Explore our Community Opportunity Map, an interactive tool that highlights the aspects of communities that are associated with safe children and strong families. This research-based framework is composed of select community indicators and is available for any community in the nation to use.
- Raise awareness through presentations to your faith-based congregation. Encourage your community to come together to identify families who need support and resources that help them thrive.
- The Family First Prevention Services Act of 2018 creates new opportunities to implement innovative approaches that keep our children and families strong. Learn more with these resources:
- Casey Family Programs has a wealth of resources for child welfare leaders available at Questions from the field.