What does wrap-around support for foster families and kids in foster care look like?
Two brothers came into foster care after being removed from their home. The 17-year-old had been working two jobs to try and support his younger brother (12). They arrived at their foster home with an old car that wasn't safe to drive. The young man had been using it to get back and forth to work, hoping it would last and not cause him to have an accident.
Their foster dad recognized how important it was for this young man to be able to maintain these jobs but knew he couldn't continue to use that car. The foster family - like many families - didn't have an extra car to use and the repair costs far exceeded the value of the car. He reached out to his support team which included Virginia's Kids Belong looking for someone with a car to sell or maybe even donate.
Within 48 hours a car was donated through a different foster family that attends one of our partner churches. A second faith community paid for some quick repairs to ensure it passed inspection. Within a week, plans were being made to make it available to this young man. Here's what he had to say:
"I really appreciate the Buick that was given to me by you. I also very much appreciate you getting it fixed when you didn’t really have to. Just wanted to let you know I’m going to keep it in good condition. I very much appreciate this because the car will make it easier for me to get back and forth to my work, and will be easier for my foster parents as well.
Thank you so much for this, it means a lot. " - CB
CB turns 18 in a few months and having a working (and safe) car is a tremendous relief for him. He has been trying to save money, but his parents kept skimming from his account. Now that he is in our care, he can start saving for when he goes off to college or trade school (he’s undecided) without having to worry about buying a car.
We received this update from the foster dad:
"The car has been a tremendous asset to CB. He kept his job and has been picking up more hours for the summer. And other than the one time he left a window open when it rained, he’s been doing a great job taking care of it – he even personalized it with a new radio. Kids gotta have their tunes I guess!"
This is what wrap-around support looks like. This is what ending the foster care crisis looks like. Two boys now know they are not alone and their goals and dreams are important. A foster family knows there is a community standing behind them as they care for these kids.
Everyone can do something to help kids in foster care find belonging and a future. What's your "something"? Let us know how we can help connect you with needs in your county.