Pray for the Kids: Children who have been abused or neglected may be suffering or frightened; they need prayer. The adults in their lives need prayer as well. Please pray for the children, their birth families, their foster families, their social workers, their attorneys, and the judges and bench officers presiding over the children’s cases.
Donate Materials: Orangewood Children’s Home (http://ssa.ocgov.com/volunteer/orangewood) may be the first stop for many children removed from their homes due to abuse or neglect. Many of the children arrive at Orangewood with little or nothing. You can support the children by donating new or gently used blankets, overnight bags filled with new hygiene items, school supplies, back packs, clothing, and toys.
Adopt a Social Worker: Working in child welfare can be a difficult and heartbreaking job. You may “adopt” social workers and help them meet some of the needs of the families they serve. For example, families can not always afford diapers or formula; they may need food to help them through a difficult time; or, the children may need school uniforms or supplies. Social workers and the children they serve benefit greatly when there is someone to whom the social worker can turn for assistance with some of their clients’ temporary needs.
Become a Mentor: A mentor can provide caring and consistent support to a child during a difficult time in their life. Mentors can change a child’s life in as little as one hour a week.
You could also consider becoming a Safe Family with training through Olive Crest, www.olivecrest.org. Parents experiencing a temporary crisis can arrange for their children (newborn through 16 years old) to stay with Safe Families volunteers while they address the issues that led to the instability in their lives.