Where to Start: How to Make a Change in a Child’s Life

Kinship and Adoption is just the beginning

Spangler-Kristi Headshot


Kristi Spangler

OhiokAN Navigator

Region 5


There are many people in this world who want to help others, especially when it comes to helping children.  Most people don’t know exactly where or how to start. 

Experts in the study of youth in foster care have said the following:

  • 1 in 5 (20%) of foster children will become homeless after age 18
  • Only half (50%) will be employed at age 24
  • Less than (30%) will earn a college degree

Being a foster parent or full-time caregiver to a child is sometimes more than a person or family can do.  There are many ways you can help or mentor a child within your community. 

As an individual, group or community you can make a difference!  Some require more time and dedication than others.  Here are a few suggestions and examples of ways individuals, families or groups can help a child who needs them. 

Become a CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate)

After receiving training, as a CASA volunteer you would be spending time with the child and the people in their lives.  Some of these people would include caregivers, teachers and healthcare professionals.  At times you would be speaking on behalf of the child in courtroom settings.  

See nationalcasagal.org for more information on becoming a CASA.

Fund a family

There are singles, couples and families who would love to adopt and would make a huge difference in many children’s lives.  The adoption process can sometimes be too expensive for a prospective adopter while still maintaining their individual household and income needs.  There is a website that is similar to the popular “GoFundMe” site that is available.   You can make a monetary donation of any amount you wish to help defer the cost of adoptions. 

See Adopttogether.org for more information. 

Offer your unique services

Many of us have unique abilities that can be afforded to children, families or entire communities.  Once a week, once a month or even once a year you can offer a service that may give the caregiver time to do nothing more than spend time with the child without distraction.  Some of these services could include:

  • Housekeeping
  • Babysitting
  • Laundry assistance
  • Lawn mowing
  • Grocery shopping

Collection donations

Probably the easiest option for helping a child, family or entire community is to collect donations.   Most all of us have given money or items to different charities and organizations, especially during the holiday season.

A phone call to your local children’s services can put you on the track to helping one child or a multitude of children and families.

Some items that are typically needed are:

  • Clothes and shoes
  • Baby care items (diapers, play pens, cribs, car seats)
  • Seasonal toys
  • School supplies/books

Create a group of your own

Just like any group such as a book club, get together with like-minded friends and acquaintances and come up with ideas to help.  Having the desire and initiative to help children, families and communities is a marvelous quality in which produces outcomes of not only making someone else’s day better but most often than not the giver feels more than they originally thought possible.


Learn More

For more information about how OhioKAN can help you, please explore our website or contact us directly.