Our biggest needs

Many children in foster care have brothers or sisters, are older or have needs that will take patience and understanding. We especially need families open to fostering siblings and teens, as well as African American and Latino families.

Foster care can be challenging, but our families often say it’s one of the most rewarding things they have ever done. Learn how you can help kids in our most urgent areas of need.

Keep siblings together

Most children in foster care have at least one brother or sister. Some may have siblings placed in other foster homes. Being separated from siblings could mean losing the only significant relationship that child has ever known, but there isn’t always a home available who can keep them together.

Believe in a teen

Teens in foster care are just like teens you know. They worry about fitting in. They obsess about clothes or cell phones. Unfortunately, teens in foster care also have to worry about where they will live next month, where their younger siblings are and how to make friends in a strange new school. Teens in foster care need the encouragement and trust of a family who will love them and provide a structured home to help them on a positive path to success.

Share your culture

Children in foster care have moved away from home, family, friends, school and favorite places. Keeping ties to their culture, such as holidays, traditions or favorite foods can help them feel safe and stable. Iowa has a large need for more African-American and Latino families to become foster or adoptive parents.

Nurture an infant or toddler

Abuse or neglect can have a significant impact on a young child’s brain development and readiness for school. Infants feel grief and loss—they could miss a parent’s smell, voice, smile or touch and that affects activity, appetite and sleep.

Support an LGBT youth

Many LGBT youth who enter foster care are placed in care for reasons unrelated to their sexual identity, while others do experience conflicts related to sexual orientation or gender identity that result in being removed from their home. Entering foster care is hard enough in itself, but these youth may also be facing questions of acceptance from their family, peers and community.