Below are lists of national and state groups working at the forefront of foster care, education and child/family welfare issues.
Also included is a list of social networking sites, online forums, and other organizations to help you get involved in the foster care community.
- Casey Family Programs: Casey Family Programs (based in Seattle, WA) is the nation’s largest operating foundation focused entirely on foster care and improving the child welfare system. They provide nonpartisan research and technical expertise to child welfare system leaders, members of Congress and state legislators so that they can craft laws and policies to better the lives of children in foster care, children at risk of entering the system, and their families. Since their founding in 1966, Casey Family Programs has invested more than $1.6 billion in programs and services to benefit children and families in the child welfare system.
- Casey Family Services: Casey Family Services is the direct service agency of the Annie E. Casey Foundation, which works to promote the well-being of our nation’s most vulnerable children. Casey Family Services improves the lives of at-risk children and strengthens families and communities by providing high-quality and cost-effective services that advance positive child welfare practice and sound public policy. In 2003, Casey Family Services moved its headquarters to New Haven, Connecticut. Today, the agency has more than 350 employees working to better the futures of children throughout New England and in Baltimore, Maryland.
- Child Welfare League of America: The Child Welfare League of America (CWLA) is the nation’s oldest and largest membership-based child welfare organization. CWLA’s counts as its members nearly 800 public and private child-serving agencies nationally. CWLA provides support and resources for proven programs, better coordination of services, more efficient program management, and more effective service delivery.
- Children’s Bureau: The Children’s Bureau is a federal agency comprising one of two bureaus within the Administration on Children, Youth and Families, Administration for Children and Families of the Department of Health and Human Services. As the oldest federal agency for children within the Administration for Children and Families, the Children’s Bureau has primary responsibility for administering federal child welfare programs.
- Children’s Defense Fund: The Children’s Defense Fund (CDF) is a non-profit child advocacy organization that has worked for nearly 40 years to ensure a level playing field for all children. CDF champions policies and programs at federal, state and community levels that lift children out of poverty; protect them from abuse and neglect; and ensure their access to health care, quality education and a moral and spiritual foundation.
- Foster Care Alumni of America: Foster Care Alumni of America (FCAA) is a national non-profit association that has been founded and is led by alumni of the foster care system. FCAA exists to connect the alumni community and to transform foster care policy and practice, ensuring opportunity for people in and from foster care. FCAA provides opportunities for alumni to know each other, to share support and information, and to become an extended family for each other.
- Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative: The Initiative works to ensure that young people—primarily those between ages 14 and 25—make successful transitions from foster care to adulthood. They do this by working nationally, in states, and locally to improve policies and practices, promote youth engagement, apply evaluation and research, and create community partnerships.
- National Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) Association: The National CASA Association is a network of 955 programs that are recruiting, training and supporting volunteers to represent the best interests of abused and neglected children in the courtroom and other settings.
- National Foster Care Coalition: The mission of NFCC is to build momentum for change by harnessing a collective voice and enabling collaborative action to promote the well-being of children, youth and families impacted by the child welfare system.
- National Foster Parent Association (NFPA): The National Foster Parent Association is a non-profit, volunteer organization established in 1972. NFPA supports foster parents in achieving safety, permanence and well-being for the children and youth in their care.
- National Resource Center for Permanency and Family Connections (NRCPFC): The NRCPFC at the Hunter College School of Social Work has tons of information/studies/data on foster youth. NRCPFC is a training, technical assistance, and information services organization dedicated to help strengthen the capacity of state, local, tribal and other publicly administered or supported child welfare agencies. Their mission is to institutionalize a safety-focused, family-centered, and community-based approach to meet the needs of children, youth and families. The National Resource Center for Permanency and Family Connections is a service of the federal Children’s Bureau.
GET INVOLVED / FIND SUPPORT
- Adoption.com: Online community committed to providing info on adoptive parenting, foster parenting, adoption search, social work, unplanned pregnancy, and adoption law.
- Adoption.org: Online community providing users with resources and information on the topics of family, adoption, foster care, pregnancy, parenting, fertility and more. A variety of content is available including articles, blogs, forums, chat and more.
- AdoptUSKids: Offers an array of services to both families and child welfare professionals. From tips and resources to an extensive database of children in U.S. foster care available for adoption and families who are approved to adopt them.
- BeaFosterParent.com: Learn about what it takes to foster, how the process works, and more.
- CafeMom.com: Social networking site for moms with a section on foster care and support.
- Center for the Improvement of Child Caring: Parenting seminars and professional advice.
- Consortium for Child Welfare: A coalition of nonprofit services agencies that works to unite service providers to ensure a responsive and accountable system of care. Professional development, networking and more available to members.
- DailyStrength.org: Online support group offering resources and connecting users with others who are experiencing similar situations in their involvement in the foster care system.
- Foster Care Alumni of America: A national nonprofit association that has been founded and is led by alumni of the foster care system. FCAA provides opportunities for alumni to know each other, to share support and information, and to become an extended family for each other.
- Foster Care Central: The #1 social network improving the lives of foster youth. Members include foster parents, social workers and volunteers.
- Foster Care Maps: Helping foster agencies locate and recruit foster parents.
- Foster Care Support Network: FCSN offers practical parenting advice on a wide variety of topics, such as attachment and bonding, sexualized behavior, anger management, life skills training, and others. Noted experts in foster care often cover topics.
- Foster Club: Online support network for foster youth and adults.
- FosterParent.net: Caring and sharing community of foster parents.
- FosterParentingForum: Another forum offering support for foster parents. Topics include: “best ideas I have encountered in foster care” and “best practices for foster parenting”.
- FosterParents.com: Message boards and advice, with a particular focus on at risk foster youth.
- iVillage: Message boards for foster youth and parents.
- National Foster Parent Association: Membership organization supporting foster parents in achieving safety, permanence and well-being for the children and youth in their care.