Parents who adopt a child from foster care enrich their own as well as a child’s life by providing that child with a loving, devoted family. They are giving the child a home for the rest of their lives where they can be safe, grow, and flourish. But, just like having children of your own, adopting a child from foster care can come with some difficulties. Caring for any child entails monetary needs, behavioral education, and more. Luckily, there are resources available to help parents who adopt a child from foster care. Continue reading to learn more about these resources and how they can help adoptive parents.
Foster parents are a group of amazing individuals. They have seen a need to care for foster children and stepped in to do whatever they can by providing a safe, welcoming home until a permanent solution is found. During this time, foster parents learn about their foster children and bond with them—a bond that can sometimes last a lifetime.
Parents who have adopted a child from foster care should consider reaching out to the child’s foster parent and remaining in touch with them. Foster parents often have useful information about the specific personality, likes, and dislikes of the child, and can help new adoptive parents with their advice.
Parent and Youth Support Groups
Support groups are another useful resource for parents who have adopted a child from foster care. These support groups allow parents to meet other adoptive parents like themselves and share their experiences. This is especially helpful for new adoptive parents who are still learning how to interact with their recently adopted child. Through these support groups, other parents can help them by offering advice, volunteering to assist them, scheduling a play date, and more.
Additionally, there are support groups specifically for children who are adopted from foster care. These groups let kids meet others in similar situations themselves and talk about their experiences. This helps children process all of the changes they’ve had to go through as well as learn information about embracing their new family. Since the children are around their peers, they are more likely to share things they may not be ready to talk about with their adoptive families.
State Subsidies, Tax Credits, Reimbursements, and Other Financial Assistance
Financial assistance is another valuable resource for parents who’ve adopted a foster child. Whenever your family grows, it is exciting and gratifying, but there are also specific costs that come with caring for a child, and sometimes adoptive parents need some extra help. Some of the ways parents receive assistance include state subsidies, tax credits, reimbursements, and others. This assistance can either be from the federal government, like a tax credit for your adoption, or from your specific state.
For example, in Arizona, a family can receive a $2,000 reimbursement per adopted child. This helps the family cover the expenses involved with the adoption process as well as the financial impact the child will have on their lives. Financial assistance differs between states, but you can find financial assistance information for other states using the Child Welfare Information Gateway.
Additionally, there are various grants and loans available specifically to parents who have adopted a child from foster care. This assistance can help cover costs as the parents get situated with their new child and settled into their new lives.
There are also different private organizations that offer respite programs for parents who adopt children from foster care. These options vary state-to-state, so look into the options available near you!
The ultimate resources for parents adopting a child from foster care are foster organizations, which include nonprofits and charities. These organizations provide resources and much-needed guidance, training, and daily necessities for foster children, foster parents, and adoptive parents throughout the entire foster process. Foster organizations can also be how parents actually ended up adopting a foster child.
Foster organizations that are nonprofits or charities rely on donations and volunteer work in order to be able to provide resources for foster children and their adoptive parents.
Donations that end up helping adoptive parents can come in different forms:
- Monetary – Many people choose to give money to help foster children and their new families. The money is given to an organization that can help allocate the financial contribution to the areas it can best serve those who need it most.
- Essential Items – Other individuals choose to show their support by giving essential items to foster children and families that might be struggling. Everything from clothing to hygiene products to toys can be donated to assist the foster community.
Contributing to foster organizations is critical in order for them to be able to provide essential tools and resources to help foster families. In some states, like Arizona, you can even receive a tax credit for making a donation to a Qualified Foster Care Charitable Organization. The maximum amount allowed is up to $500 for individual filers and up to $1,000 for joint filers. Please consult your tax professional and the Arizona Department of Revenue for complete details on the Arizona Foster Care Tax Credit. In this way, you can make a difference in the work that foster organizations do as well as receive tax benefits yourself.
At the Arizona Association for Foster and Adoptive Parents (AZAFAP), our mission is to serve the foster, adoptive, and kinship families who care for Arizona’s most vulnerable children. We are all volunteers, and we are all foster and adoptive parents. We rely on the help of our supporters to provide support and resources, promote education, and empower foster, kinship, and adoptive families of all types. If you or someone you know is a parent who has adopted from foster care, explore the resources we offer to help you on your journey! You can also help make a difference in the lives of these children and their families by becoming a volunteer, contacting us to learn more, or donating to our cause today! Your donation may even qualify for an Arizona state tax credit under the Foster Care Tax Credit!