National Foster Care Network

Building Teams That Care

  Retention: Fostering for the Rewards
Janette Hodge

Foster parents as recruiters: it is true, one nurtured family will spread the wealth.

A simple but efective strategy for rewarding foster parents is the Thanks for Being You gift bag. I take a zip lock sandwich bag, fill with the items below and place this message on a note stapled to the back:

Thanks for Being You

I have packed a little bag of things that remind me of you.

  • Rubber Band: reminds me of those arms around me and the times I needed hugged;
  • Tissue: reminds me of the tears you dried;
  • Toothpick: reminds me of how you "pick-out" the good stuff in me;
  • Band Aid: reminds me of how you heal hurt feelings;
  • Candy Kiss: reminds me of your occasional treats;
  • Gold Thread: reminds me of the ties we have formed with each other;
  • Eraser: reminds me that when I make mistakes, it's OK;
  • Lifesaver Candy: reminds me that I think of you as my "lifesaver," whenever I need to talk you are there;
  • Mint: reminds me that you are worth a mint to me.


I use these at appreciation dinners. I have the children that are in care pass these out to the moms or dads. It is inexpensive but a wonderful way to say thank you. The children really like being able to give something back to their families and usually not a dry eye from the moms that will treasure the little bag.

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American Foster Care Resources, Inc.