May is foster care awareness month so we wanted to take a moment to share how we can help some of the most vulnerable children in our community. In 2017 (most recent year available), almost 5,000 children throughout Wisconsin entered out of home care. Waukesha County had over 1,700 reports of alleged child abuse and neglect that same year. Foster care is becoming more openly discussed thanks to its’ presence in media (see: This is Us and Instant Family) but there continues to be a shortage of foster parents throughout the state. Being a foster parent is not for everyone, but there are other ways to help. This guide offers a variety of suggestions.
FOSTER CARE Agencies
Waukesha County Department of Health & Human Services
Waukesha County DHHS serves children in Waukesha County who have been neglected and/or abused and need placement in out of home care. They license foster families from our community to care for children who have experienced trauma but exhibit minimal physical, behavioral, and emotional issues. Find more information on their website and Facebook page.
Norris Beyond Fostering Therapeutic Foster Care Program
The Beyond Fostering Therapeutic Foster Care (TFC) program provides clinical interventions within the context of a licensed treatment foster family provided to children with significant behavioral, emotional and/or medical challenges. Find more on their website and Facebook page.
Saint A serves children of Milwaukee County who have been abused/neglected and require placement in out of home care. They license foster families in counties in and adjacent to Milwaukee County. Find more on their Website, Facebook, and Instagram.
Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin
Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin-Community Services serves children of Milwaukee County who have been abused/neglected and require placement in out of home care. They license foster families in counties in and adjacent to Milwaukee County. Find out more on their website, Facebook, and Instagram.
Chosen, Inc. (“Chosen“), a Wisconsin non-profit fostering and adoption support ministry, exists to Foster Forever Families by living the Gospel so that all children can experience a safe and loving home. Chosen is committed to helping children and families in education, support, and community. Find out more on their website and Facebook page.
*Thank you to all who donated and came to Lake Country Family Fun’s 8th Birthday Bash, supporting our drive for Chosen. See more HERE.
Family Promise is a non-profit organization that assists homeless families with children in Waukesha County by providing overnight shelter, meals, and support services with the goal of achieving permanent housing and sustainable independence. Find out more on their website, Facebook, and Instagram.
Coalition for Children, Youth, and Families
The Coalition for CY&F aims to inspire, inform, and support individuals and families caring for children touched by foster care and adoption. Financial donations help to increase foster parents access to tools and resources, develop stronger support networks which improves foster family’s confident and ability to be a “no matter what” family. Find out more on their website, Facebook, and Instagram.
Backpack Coalition, which has been led by United Way since 2014, is committed to providing backpacks and school supplies to students with financial constraints, helping ensure they succeed in school. Find out more here. Last year, 650 items were collected for Backpack Coalition at LCFF’s Hartland Kids Day. Let’s see if we can top it this year!
Lad Lake is the emergency room of the child welfare system. They provide safety, individualized therapy, and skill-building for independence for more than 1,100 kids every year. Find out more on their website, Facebook, and Instagram.
Family Promise of Waukesha County
Family Promise is a non-profit organization that assists homeless families with children in Waukesha County by providing overnight shelter, meals, and support services with the goal of achieving permanent housing and sustainable independence. Find out more on their website, Facebook,and Instagram.
Royal Family Kids Camp-Hartland
The primary purpose of Royal Family KIDS camps is to give foster children ages 6-12 a week of positive memories and royal treatment in a Christian camp environment. Find out more on their website and Facebook page.
Coalition for Children, Youth and Families Annual Gala
Thursday, November 7, 2019
All proceeds will benefit the Coalition’s work as an organization that supports people who are changing lives through foster care and adoption.
Coalition for Children, Youth, and Families Anniversary Golf Outing
Monday, August 31,2020
All proceeds will benefit the Coalition’s work as an organization that supports people who are changing lives through foster care and adoption. Find out more information here.
Chosen, Open Hearts Open Homes Gala
Saturday, November 14, 2020
Radisson Hotel Milwaukee West
Proceeds go toward the mission of Chosen. Find out more information here.
Chosen, Outreach events – Walk on the Wild Side
Saturday, August 15, 2020
Milwaukee County Zoo
Walk with Chosen to raise awareness of the great need for more foster families! New in 2020: Electronic pledging! Find out more information here.
Back Pack Coalition Fill the Bus
Various dates and times.
Back Pack Coalition, Hartland Kids Day 2020 Drive
Wednesday, July 29, 2020
Bring school supplies to Hartland Kids Day for our annual drive for the Backpack Coalition. Find out more information here.
Trafficking of children and youth is a growing concern across the nation and Wisconsin. To find out more, visit the Department of Children and Families website.
Trauma Informed Care
Wisconsin is a powerhouse throughout the Country in implementing Trauma Informed Care practices for traumatized children. “Trauma-informed care offers a different perspective. Instead of asking a badly behaving child, “What is wrong with you?” We would be asking, “What has happened to you?” Wisconsin’s former first lady, Tonette Walker has been a champion for Trauma Informed Care and created fosteringfutureswisconsin.org to promote awareness. Be sure to join their mailing list to stay up to date.
Did you know that Oprah recently sat down with SaintA to discuss the epidemic of childhood trauma with SaintA. Watch the video here.
The opioid epidemic has led to the significant increase in children placed in out of home care. Find out more here.
One thing you could do right now to advocate for foster children is to share this guide and what you have learned with others.
Foster care and adoption is near and dear to the hearts of the Lake Country Family Fun team. Read about team member, Stephanie’s adoption journey here. Follow along with Madi’s foster care journey here. Did you know that Erin has a social work degree with an emphasis in Child Welfare and worked in the Child Welfare system prior to becoming a mom herself? We strongly believe it’s important to help Lake Country’s children and families in need (like here and here and through the Chosen drive described above). Help us out, did we miss anything? Please contact us and let us know so we can make sure this guide is the best it can be.