3 Reasons Why You Should Foster A Child
There are over 6,900 children in West Virginia’s foster care system, according to a June 2021 Legislative Foster Care Report from the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR). Sadly, this staggering number mainly results from the ongoing opioid epidemic that we continue to battle in our state. So whether you have thought about fostering a child before, know someone who has, or perhaps, are learning about it for the first time, there is a growing need for loving foster families right here in West Virginia. Continue reading to learn more about foster care and three reasons why you should foster a child. 


Foster care is a temporary service for children who cannot live with their families. These children may live with relatives (kinship caregivers), licensed foster parents or in placement settings such as group homes, residential care facilities, emergency shelters and so forth. The main hope is that they can reunite with their families once they can provide a stable home for their children.


Children in foster care may have suffered from abuse and neglect, have emotional or physical challenges or face other complex issues which make them unable to live with their family of origin. Some of the most common reasons children enter the foster care system include:

  • Substance use by a parent or guardian
  • Physical abuse
  • Sexual abuse
  • Neglect
  • Domestic violence
  • Emotional abuse
  • Incarceration
  • Death
  • Disrupted adoptions
  • Severe educational neglect
  • Severe medical neglect


Fostering a child is not always easy; it requires patience, flexibility and good communication skills. But if you find yourself debating on whether you should do it, know that the experience is a highly rewarding one. 

Let’s take a look at three reasons (of the many) why you should foster a child below: 

Reason #1: You Can Help Change a Child’s Life

Do you have a heart for helping children? Children in the foster care system are often victims of abuse and neglect. In some cases, these situations occur because their parents are addicted to opioids or other substances. Research shows that kids with parents with substance use or alcohol use disorders are also more likely to develop those disorders themselves. But thankfully, this can change. If you can provide a foster child with love and patience and a stable, secure and abuse-free home, you can help make a difference in their life. You can help stop this heartbreaking cycle. You can help protect them from additional trauma. And your impact can work to positively change future generations in West Virginia and beyond. 

Reason #2: You Can Grow Your Family 

Whether your children already have left the nest or you are looking to grow your family, fostering allows you to expand your family by providing a safe, stable and nurturing environment to a child that needs one. According to the Centers for Disease and Control (CDC), safety, stability and nurturing are three significant relationship and environmental qualities that affect children as they mature. Safe, stable and nurturing relationships and homes help reduce the occurrence and detrimental impacts of child abuse and neglect. Furthermore, these aspects can improve the physical, cognitive, and emotional outcomes of children. Opening your home to a child in need, even just for a short time, can help them to heal and flourish.  

It is often heard that some families are too afraid to foster because they will become too attached to their foster child and will struggle to give them up when the time comes. We believe that those families will ultimately make the BEST foster parents because of their compassionate and loving nature. 

Reason #3: You Are Needed

Each child in the foster care system deserves a loving and safe home. They deserve someone who will love, listen to, support and care about them. But with over 6,900 children in the West Virginia foster care system alone, the need for licensed foster families is only continuing to grow. If you would like to help us answer the call to care for kids throughout our neighborhoods, communities and state, we encourage you to take the first step and contact our team at Burlington today. These children need you.


Since 1913, Burlington United Methodist Family Services, Inc. has dedicated itself to changing lives by providing hope and healing to those who are hurting. We entered the foster care ministry in 1985, and since then, it has grown into one of our largest programs. Our foster care team works closely with families and clients to make foster care life enjoyable. If you have any questions about foster care, becoming a foster parent or any of our other services, please contact us at 304-260-5884 or foundation@bumfs.org.

“For I know what I have planned for you,” says the Lord. “I have plans to prosper you, not to harm you. I have plans to give you a future filled with hope.” — Jeremiah 29:11