Foster and Adoptive Family Services, a non-profit organization dedicated to foster and adoptive families, started an outreach program in 2000 through a $5000 challenge grant from Long Valley Presbyterian Church, called Fostering Wishes For Children (FWFC).
FWFC grants up to a $75 wish for enrichment and self-esteem building items for children in foster care, such as art/music lessons, school yearbooks, prom tickets, sports registrations, and much more.
FWFC shows foster parents that their communities support them and that knowledge helps them continue to foster year after year. At fundraisers, foster and adoptive parents distribute literature to educate the public regarding the need for additional homes, which helps recruit new foster and adoptive parents. Only with a larger pool of foster and adoptive families to choose from, can the New Jersey State of Division of Youth and Family Services make better initial placement decisions and keep more siblings together, when circumstances require the removal of children from their biological homes.
Foster and Adoptive Family Services and the Long Valley Presbyterian Church also distribute the following prayer requests to churches in New Jersey to keep the needs of children ever present in the minds and prayers of worshippers.
Foster Care Prayer Requests
Pray for the children entering foster care today, that they find an appropriate, kind and loving foster family to care for them until their birth families or relatives are able to do so.
Pray for the sibling groups of children entering foster care today, that they will be placed together in one foster home.
Pray for all the foster children in care, that their first foster home is also their last foster home, as multiple placements rob children of stability and love which is required to build the self-esteem needed to grow into responsible, caring adults.
Pray that more singles, couples and families become foster parents. More experienced and caring foster homes are needed to enable Division of Youth and Families Services to make appropriate placements that keep siblings together, make the first foster placement the only foster care placement, and assure each foster home is able and willing to meet the special needs of their foster children.
Pray that all children in out-of-home care will quickly return to a safe home or find an alternative permanent and loving home.
Please pray for God's intervention with all families--particularly those struggling with alcohol, drug abuse, and mental illness--to enable them to successfully complete programs for recovery, and allow the reunification of foster children with safe and caring birth families.
Please pray that the federal, state and local governments, will see the plight of so many of our children whose families are wrecked by drug and alcohol abuse, and work toward prevention and increasing services for addicts, particularly addicts with children.
Pray that God blesses all the Division of Youth and Families Services caseworkers and staff who make decisions daily which have a huge impact on the lives of children and families. Their job is a thankless one, requiring walking a thin line, in that they are continually criticized for being too intrusive, removing children too quickly; and for not acting quickly enough, whenever a child is abused.
When a family reunification is unlikely in a reasonable time period, we pray that God's hand guides the judges at the termination of parental rights trials to make their decision in the child's best interest. God bless the judges who must decide whether or not children return to birth families or become freed for adoption.
Pray for all those children whose birth families are unable to care for them, are freed for adoption, but have nobody willing to give them a forever home. Although more than 80 percent of foster children freed for adoption are adopted by their foster families, today there are 500 children awaiting forever homes in New Jersey.
Pray that foster and adoptive families and their children receive the support and understanding of their communities.
Bless those who put ideas into action and make a positive difference in the lives of children, particularly children in foster care.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Janet Farrand is a 15-year foster and adoptive parent, President of Foster and Adoptive Family Services, and founder of the program. Janet and Geneva Hill, a foster and adoptive parent and past President of the Essex County Foster and Adoptive Family Services, wrote the prayer concerns. Janet can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information about becoming a foster parent or adopting in New Jersey, please call 1-800-222-0047.