- May/June 2001
- Vol. 2, No. 3
FosterClub: Online Resources for Foster Kids and their Parents
Foster children can gain valuable support, motivation, and insight from each other. Through an online community known as the FosterClub, these networks are forming not only among foster children but also among foster parents.
FosterClub, funded by the Wheeler Foundation, works with caseworkers and foster parents to support and empower foster kids. Until the FosterClub, there was no national "club" organization serving the more than 560,000 children in the foster care system and the nearly 20,000 youth that "age out" of foster care each year. FosterClub aims to:
- Provide foster kids with encouragement and access to information
- Promote services to youth who have "aged out" of the foster care system
- Enable foster kids to communicate with each other and keep informed on the unique issues they face
- Make an effort to "even the playing field" by providing foster kids with material benefits (discounts, freebies, funding, etc.) on a local and national level
- Raise public awareness.
FosterClub's website, http://www.fosterclub.com, contains material for foster kids. Its "Fun Stuff" section includes information on famous foster kids, contests, and message boards. There also are columns with questions and answers, personal accounts, advice, job hunting tips, and articles about living on your own. Foster children also can connect with each other through a link to a special chat room.
A companion website for "grown-ups" offers information about policy issues, how to help foster kids, becoming a foster parent, resources for support, message board, and famous foster parents. Foster parents can keep up to date on current events through a section containing articles in the popular press, research, and statistics. A section for child welfare workers—still under construction—provides news, tools, and a directory of DHHS offices. Additional resources include a reading room of suggested titles and articles on independent living.