Anne Arundel County Foster Parents Association

How to help families & youth in care

You don’t have to work in child welfare or be a parent to help children in foster care. There are lots of ways to put your valuable abilities to work for raising awareness and advocating on behalf of waiting children.

  • Become a court-appointed special advocate (CASA)

  • Mentor a child in foster care

  • Become a respite care provider

  • Fundraise or donate supplies to foster care organizations

Free Educational Resources

Talking to Kids About Racism

How can a parent help their child traverse these disturbing times?

Let the child's age and level of development guide you, experts say, but first, be sure that you are in the right frame of mind.

"A parent's first step is to take care of themselves, their mental health, their emotional health. Put their oxygen mask on first before they put the oxygen mask on their child," said Chicago pediatrician Dr. Nia Heard-Garris, who chairs the minority health, equity and inclusion committee of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)

"Vicarious trauma through screens is real, especially for marginalized communities who may have experienced similar actions first-hand," said Dr. Jenny Radesky, a developmental behavioral pediatrician who teaches at the University of Michigan.

The stress of watching traumatic events on television and smartphones "lingers within our bodies and minds," Radesky added. She suggests parents find ways to channel that energy with positive actions, such as deep breathing and re-grounding exercises, before playing with or talking to your kids.

"This doesn't mean letting go of the anger or anxiety, it just means organizing it better so you can think and act more clearly," she said.

Once a parent is fully available to be a calm, rational voice, "then you can parse out what's important to pass onto your child so that you're not oversharing information that may further traumatize them or make them feel insecure or unsafe," Heard-Garris said.

Watch the CNN/Sesame Street Town hall

Check out some of our Families' thoughts about Foster Care and Adoption

We also will be running our annual virtual fundraiser to support our association. If you can help, please visit our page and donate!

Local Resources for Foster Parents

The Blue Ribbon Project's Mission is the prevention of all forms of child abuse and provides critical support to victims of abuse and neglect. They also provide Mirah's Closet, which is a resource for Foster Parents to shop for clothing, toiletries, toys and books for all kids in care.

They provide support service to all Resource Families in the state of Maryland. Membership in the Association is open to all Resource Parents, a prospective resource parent, or a child welfare professional

CASA stands for Court Appointed Special Advocate. CASAs are specially trained volunteers who are appointed as “Officers of the Court” to an abused or neglected child. Their role is to make recommendations to the Court about what is in the child’s best interest.

Other Resources:

Want to help but don't know how? It is simple as small donation, your contribution will make an impact, whether you donate $5 or $500. Every little bit helps. Thank you for your support.

Sesame Workshop Launches Initiative to Support Children in Foster Care

Sesame Workshop, the non-profit educational organization behind Sesame Street, launched on May 2019 a new initiative to offer support to children, foster parents, and providers who serve foster families. The initiative features Karli, a young Sesame StreetMuppet in foster care, and her “for-now” parents, Dalia and Clem.

The initiative is part of the Sesame Street in Communities program, which provides free, easy-to-use resources for community providers and caregivers. The free, bilingual resources help caregivers and providers support children as they navigate the world of foster care, and they provide simple, approachable tools to help reassure children and help them feel safer.