Thoughts from the Foundation

3 Ways to Help Orphans & Children in Foster Care


Currently in the United States, there are approximately 400,000 children in the foster care system.

While there are a variety of reasons for a child to be placed in foster care, many of these children are orphans. Jack Kagan was one of these orphaned children soon after his birth, and as such he became an avid supporter of orphans and children in foster care throughout his life.

Individual agencies and the families that adopt or foster children are doing vital work, but they require a support system to ensure the best possible outcome for each child. While not everyone is able to adopt or foster a child, there are a variety of things we can all do to help children in the foster care system. We offer three ideas in case you are interested in supporting these children in your community:

1.  Volunteer with local group homes for children. 

Because there are no longer orphanages in the United States, many children waiting to be adopted or reunified with their families stay in group homes, residential treatment centers, or modern boarding schools. These facilities are often in need of volunteers to help with food preparation, cleaning, and childcare. These types of facilities are typically run by the state, so you would need to contact your local government to get in touch with a volunteer coordinator.

2.  Donate new or gently used clothing, toys, and school supplies.

State-run facilities, charities, and individual families are always in need of clothing and supplies. To find out what items are needed most, contact local organizations in your area. You can even work with their volunteers to collect even more items from members of your community.

3.  Become a respite care provider.

Respite care providers are individuals that can take care of a foster child for a few days at a time in emergency situations. To become a respite care provider, you need to begin the certification process by reaching out to your local government or foster care agency. You will also submit an application to an individual foster care agency and go through a formal interview process before being accepted.

Here at the Jack Kagan Foundation we are dedicated to assisting organizations that help orphans, support children in foster care, and advocate for families in need.

We review, vet, then provide grants to organizations like the New Mexico Children’s Foundation, The YES Institute, The Birthday Party Project, Dreamplex, and others. To learn more about these organizations, see our Children page To support these and all of our vetted non-profit organizations, donate here.