Heart on notebook paper; text overlay "Foster Care and Adoption Benefits and Benefits of the Heart"

WACAP’s Foster Care and Adoption staff answer some commonly asked questions about foster care and adoption, foster care and adoption benefits, and who to contact about becoming a foster parent. Not least of all, they talk about why fostering a child is an endeavor and “benefit of the heart,” bringing stability and love to children and youth when they need it most.

Where can I learn more about foster care and adoption benefits?

Start with your employer see what kinds of benefits they might allow for fostering or adopting a child. Many employers offer benefits, such as financial support or leave, that can assist families who are fostering or adopting a child. 

Resources that can help you along:

Why should I consider fostering a child?

As of last year, there were over 442,000 in state foster care across the U.S. with over 123,000 children and youth waiting to be adopted. There are children and youth in our communities, kids we know, that need permanency. For some children, it may be for a short time. Others are waiting for a family that can adopt them. Fostering a child is a way to give back in our own communities, and to bring stability to a child that needs it.

As WACAP’s Foster Care and Adoption FAQ explains, “Foster parents mentor, coach, guide, protect, love, support and encourage the child(ren) in their care. Foster parenting is filled with both challenges and opportunities. It can be challenging to parent children who come with trauma histories. However, being a foster parent to a child who needs your love, support, protection and stability can be one of life’s greatest rewards!”

Can I work with WACAP if I want to foster a child? Who should I contact?

If you live in Western Washington (Pierce, King or Snohomish County), WACAP’s expanded domestic foster care and adoption program may be the right choice for you. Contact us at wacap@wacap.org or call 206.922.1515 to learn more, or learn more about WACAP Foster Care and Adoption program.

What if I don’t live in Western Washington?

In order to foster or adopt a child through U.S. Foster Care with WACAP, families need to complete foster training through their home state and acquire an approved home study. For families who reside outside of WACAP’s service areas of King, Pierce and Snohomish counties, we strongly encourage you to contact the state agency in your county to learn more about how you can become a licensed foster family.

What are you seeing right now in Washington State?

In western Washington, in one region where we work, WACAP’s Foster Care and Adoption director receives a daily report of children in need of immediate foster care placement. Every day, there are 50 – 70 children in need of immediate placement. WACAP Staff see these numbers on a daily basis, with children, youth and siblings needing immediate placement, and the need has remained consistently high.

How can I support foster care and adoption if I’m not able to be foster parent right now?

You and your family may not be able to foster a child—or perhaps you can’t foster a child right now—but there’s still a lot that you can do, including:

What do you mean by adoption and foster care “benefits of the heart?”

There’s nothing like being able to provide a child with a sense of stability in a very unpredictable time in a child’s life. 

Giving that sense of childhood, and helping a child learn how to trust, rather than a child just having to be “in survival mode” is a gift, and it’s a benefit for both the child and the fostering parent. It’s something that can be taken for granted, but it’s so valuable—getting to be part of that shared experience of being there when a child needs it.

These are some of the foster care and adoption benefits that aren’t on a list, but are the ones that you experience and may find matter most: the benefits of the heart.