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Being a foster parent is a thankless job. I want to change that.

The Kid driving around her foster family's backyard.
Foster parents play a critical role in reuniting families, and in some cases, help fledgling families find their footing. Sometimes they take newborns home from the hospital, other times a social worker brings bewildered kids to them late at night to provide safe shelter.

But in all cases, foster parents have their lives scrutinized and thrown into chaos to help children. They aren't in it for the glorious financial rewards, in Michigan the clothing allowance for foster children hasn't changed in over 20 years. They aren't in it for the accolades, few foster parents see themselves as hero's worthy of recognition. They aren't in it for the personal affirmations, often the birth parents blame them for their shaky custody situation.

Why do foster parents do what they do? They know how much children need a place to feel free from harm. They want to see families reunited when possible and help launch successful new families when necessary. Some feel being a foster parent is their calling, others just see it as the right thing to do.

Here's the thing, more foster parents are needed. The prospect of becoming a foster parent can be daunting, but if people feel like they have the support of their community, maybe more people will at least consider becoming a foster parent.

A good place to start showing support is to simply thank any foster parent you know for doing a normally thankless job. Those two words, thank you, are a simple expression of appreciation and for those doing a normally thankless job, those two words could help them decide to keep helping our children.

You are going to help me say thank you to a bunch of foster parents, right?

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