National Foster Care Month/Foster Parent Appreciation


Want to support youth in foster care no matter what month it is?  Here are 28 ways to support foster youth.



Ivy Spohnholz grew up in a family where her parents fostered.  Later, she and her husband Troy Bowler continued the tradition.   Read her story here.

Rich Irwin kept putting off going to orientation, but he was glad he finaly got there because that is how he met his son.  Check out the Irwin Family’s story here.

Barbara Turner has been a therapeutic foster parent for 5 years. What does she receive from doing foster care?  Check out her story here.

Russell Pressley has been doing foster care a long time and has provided guardianship and adoption for many of the young men who have come through his home.  He bursts with pride as he talks about one of his sons graduating from college.   Read about Russell Pressley and his son Dillon here.



What You Can Do

3 Ways to Get Involved with Foster Care Month (even if you can’t be a foster parent)

Write a letter to your Senator or Representative

If you want to help, but can’t be a foster family, check out this list.

Ways to Help Vulnerable Children in Your Community

Put Together Starter Kits for kids who come into foster care with very little. Starter kits that have been donated across Alaska include simple things like a pillow case, stuffed animal, book or journal, hair brush or comb, or a toothbrush and tooth paste. The Resource Family Advisory Board (RFAB) is supporting this project. Contact them at for more information.  Starter Kit Suggestions


Links for More Information

Foster Kids First   Foster Kids First is a coalition of Alaskans who have hands on experience in the foster care system, who believe in the good intentions and goals of the foster care system, but know that we can and should do better for our most vulnerable children. Connect, Advocate, and Celebrate are their key words.   E-Mail:

Facing Foster Care in Alaska  Alaska advocacy group made up of youth and alumni working to improve the foster care system and make sure that the voice of youth is heard.

National Foster Care Month     Ideas and Resources to help with National Foster Care Month

Beacon Hill   Faith based organization offering a foster/adoptive resource center and a safe place for brith family visitation.  Their newest program Safe Families for Children seeks to support families and children before the need for protective foster care arises.

National Child Traumatic Stress Network  Observing National Foster Care Month by compiling Information for Resource Parents, Workers, Youth and Birth Parents


Social Media

Alaska Center for Resource Families on Facebook.   On Twitter    

Facing Foster Care in Alaska on Facebook.       On Twitter,    

Foster Kids First on Facebook 

Alaska Child Welfare Academy  on Facebook



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