Are you passionate about helping children and families in the child welfare system?
Do you believe vulnerable children in your community deserve more…and you want to do something about it?
Do you love the Foster Village model and want to learn how you can do the same thing in your area?
Become a Foster Village affiliate and start a Foster Village chapter in your city or town!
You know it’s your calling to serve vulnerable children and families, but you’re not sure where to start.
Maybe you’ve fostered or worked in child welfare and now you want to do more.
Maybe you’ve thought about starting an organization but have felt overwhelmed by the process or weren’t sure the best approach. Or maybe you’re ready to turn your passion project into a credible and sustainable nonprofit.
As a Foster Village affiliate, you can partner with a trusted brand and proven model to start your own 501c3 nonprofit organization – and we’ll walk with you every step of the way from idea to launch and beyond.
Before launching your Foster Village affiliate, you will embark on a journey where you will learn how to form and run a nonprofit, how to implement Foster Village’s approach, programs, and processes, and all the nitty gritty details of operations, marketing, fundraising, and more.
We also share our years of experience and expertise in child welfare and trauma-informed care, equipping you with knowledge, skills, and tools to successfully run an organization, work with the child welfare system in your area, and make the most meaningful impact in the lives of families and children in your community.
We will guide you each step of the way, and at the end of your journey, you will be ready to launch your local chapter and start making a difference in your community!
I am so honored and humbled that you are considering becoming a Foster Village affiliate.
When God first called us into this mission, one thing was clear: this was going to be a community-driven effort. Based on our personal experience as a foster family and the many stories that changed us along the way, I could envision the bridge between the needs and those with a desire to help.
But I knew I couldn’t bring it into reality alone.
Children and families in your community need YOU to bridge the gap between their needs and the people who want to help.
When you bring Foster Village to your city or town, you will transform the futures of children and families in communities where there aren’t resources. But the impact doesn’t stop there.
Together, we will break generational cycles of adversity and see change in the system.
We will work toward a reality where there are more homes waiting for children than children waiting for homes.
We will elevate the voices of vulnerable children and families, disrupt destructive patterns, and advocate for widespread change.
And Foster Village is here to help you get there.
When I started Foster Village, I was motivated by the mission and the needs I saw in my community, but I had a lot to learn about running a nonprofit and what approach would bring real benefit to children and families in the child welfare system.
The process was messy, tiring, and filled with ups and downs – but we pressed on. With a lot of time and humble learning, Foster Village as you know it today was born.
Though we are committed to constantly learning and growing, I can also say we’ve figured a few things out along the way.
I want to save you the time, money, mistakes, uncertainty, and challenges we faced when starting out.
Through this training program, you will get our tried-and-true approach – just what works and none of what doesn’t. If it seems simple, it’s because we spent years experimenting, making mistakes, learning new things, redoing old things, and creating the model you see today.
You will learn our “secret sauce” – our expert knowledge of the child welfare system, a trauma-informed perspective, and our understanding of generational cycles and how to break them.
You will also get so many tools, resources, and materials (valued at over $300,000!) that are time-consuming and costly to create on your own – a logo, a website, social media graphics, intake forms, operations systems, and so much more.
All of this means you can focus less on the logistics and more on the mission…reaching more kids and families, meeting more needs, breaking more cycles.
Are you ready to join this mission for a brighter future for children and families? Are you ready to rally your community to join you?
Join us in changing the lives of children and families across the country. We would be honored to have you as part of our village!
Chrystal Smith, FOUNDER & CEO, Foster Village Inc.
What You Get as a Foster Village Affiliate
Through your initial training and ongoing affiliate benefits, you will get step-by-step guidance on how to get started and be connected to a family of people all working for the good of children and families. You will remain independent and build and run your own nonprofit while partnering with a trusted brand and proven model for bringing real change and meeting needs beyond the system.
What you get as a Foster Village affiliate:
- In-person training with the Foster Village team and training materials you can reference anytime
- A robust library of operational and marketing resources
- Access to coaching, corporate partnerships, and shared services
- Use of the Foster Village brand and our proven, trusted model
- A step-by-step path for launching your location and a community of support – so you can avoid the pitfalls, uncertainty, and loneliness that come with starting an organization from scratch
What Other Affiliates Have to Say
“We were so thrilled when the opportunity to join as an affiliate with Foster Village became an option! We had been running our own foster care support organization and experienced what it was like to do this work on our own -- it's not easy!
Working as part of the Foster Village Family doesn't even compare! The program development from Foster Village, Inc., the brainstorming amongst other affiliates, the support from others who are doing this same hard work – it all goes unmatched.
Being able to focus on the true needs of our community and having the ability to be the hands and feet of Equipping, Connecting, and Advocating for our families is made so much easier because of the work Foster Village, Inc. does on the front end for our locations.
It truly is a privilege to work as part of the Foster Village Affiliate Program, and we are thankful for the work Foster Village, Inc. does for us.”
“We are honored to be the first out-of-state affiliate of Foster Village Inc.
When we were first dreaming about having a nonprofit in our city focused on the holistic support of children and families experiencing foster care, we researched who in the country was already doing this work well. Foster Village Inc. by far matched our intention to support families while recognizing that lived experience and empathy for all connected to foster care was the top priority.
Being connected to an affiliate model gives the opportunity for best practice and a village family to lean on when replicating program elements in your city.
For us in Charlotte, it helped us gain traction with our local community early on because we could point to an existing model that was thriving, which helped us prove the concept and visual what could be true for our city too.
We are forever grateful for Foster Village Inc. and the legacy Chrystal and her team created that now reaches far beyond Austin.”
You can build a village beyond the system
Now is the moment – to start something that matters, to turn your passion into action, and to empower children in your community to overcome adversity and thrive. Step into your calling and change the future for vulnerable children and their families forever.
Fill out the interest form to begin the process. We can’t wait to meet you!
What are my ongoing membership dues?
Your membership dues are $250/month to keep your location active. This covers ongoing use of the brand and all of the shared services and materials listed above.
What are the benefits of being a Foster Village affiliate?
There are so many benefits to joining a village of people working to make a difference, such as:
You get a roadmap to follow, taking the guesswork and uncertainty out of starting a nonprofit and running programming.
You gain immediate credibility and meaningful results by partnering with our trusted brand and model.
You receive coaching from our team of experts who have been in the trenches and can help you overcome challenges and avoid pitfalls.
You get practical “how to” as well as education on the child welfare system, trauma-informed care, and more...so your good intentions translate to good work as well.
You save hundreds of thousands of dollars of startup and operation costs with all the resources and materials we give you.
Is each affiliate location under the same 501c3 as Foster Village Inc.?
No, each Foster Village affiliate will incorporate as its own 501c3 organization. You will have your own legal entity, website, location, donor base, etc. but will follow Foster Village best practices and guidelines while receiving shared services and community support as an affiliate. We believe that funds and resources donated by each community should stay in each community.
How does the application process work?
As a Foster Village affiliate, you will become part of our team, our village, and our circle. We work hard during the application process to really get to know you and make sure this partnership is a good fit for both of us. The application process consists of four steps:
- Fill out an initial interest form. This lets us get to know you and why you’re interested in starting a Foster Village location.
- Have an initial “meet and greet” with Foster Village. Once we review your interest form, we’ll schedule a meet and greet to get to know you more, explain more about the program and what to expect, answer any questions, and explore if this could be a positive partnership for both parties.
- Apply for the program. If we feel this is a good fit after the meet and greet, we will send you an application where you can officially apply for the program.
- Conduct a “fit interview” with Foster Village. We will review your application and schedule a more in-depth interview to determine if your location would be a good fit for this program.
If, at the end of the process, we both feel like the partnership is a good fit, you will be invited to join the training program.
What are the requirements to be accepted into the program?
Before you apply, we ask that you research the need along with other child welfare services in your area to understand where the gaps are in your community and how your location will be meeting a real need. Our mission is to truly make an impact and not to compete with other organizations but to close the gaps and bring dignity to the system. We want to hear why your community needs a Foster Village!
Other than that, there are no specific requirements to become an affiliate. We will conduct a fit interview with each affiliate, and decisions will be based on the complete picture of the applicant. Please do remember that you will be starting and running your own nonprofit, so you will need to be prepared to raise money, build a team, and get in the trenches and work hard – but we’re here to show you the way!
How long does the program take to complete?
Every location is different; therefore, there is not a set timeframe in which you will complete the program. Local laws and community dynamics, finding a space, building a team, and your own work experience and availability will impact how long it takes to launch your location. However, we have designed this program to take an average of six months to complete.
Do I really have what it takes to run a nonprofit? What else should I be thinking about before committing?
We’re not going to lie: running a nonprofit is a lot of work. You will need to consider the up-front cost of legal fees to get incorporated and the work of finding facilities, building a board, and building a team. On an ongoing basis, you will play an active role in fundraising, team management, and overseeing marketing, operations, and the day-to-day of running a nonprofit.
This program isn’t for someone looking for a side hustle; it’s for those who truly feel called to start and run an organization. We’re here to make it as easy as possible for you by sharing what we’ve learned through our experience plus the secret sauce of running an amazing foster support organization.
What up-front costs should I expect to start my nonprofit?
The costs are variable per affiliate depending on in-kind contributions and infrastructure at your location. The initial incorporation costs are just over $5,400, which includes $2,000 for legal filing, $3,000 for membership dues for the first year ($250/month), and $400 for your website. All other start-up costs depend on any additional technology, resources, contracts, subscriptions, and services acquired.
The other main up-front cost you can expect, in addition to training and incorporation, is building your resource center. This includes purchasing or renting a space, installing shelving and storage, and stocking supplies for families. Inventory costs can range from $2,000-$10,000 depending on the amount of in-kind donations and desired inventory to launch.
How much does it cost each year to run a nonprofit?
You should plan on raising at least $20,000 a year to cover general operating expenses at the beginning. If you rent a space or hire staff, your budget will obviously need to increase.
You can help with planning and preparing fundraisers and events throughout the year. Prior non-profit fundraising or event planning experience a plus. Flexible schedule and time commitment.
Resource Center Team
Our Resource Centers serve as a hub for those caring for children in foster care. Volunteers are needed to help sort and organize donations during weekday time slots and assist families who might be visiting during those times. Sign-up slots go out in our monthly volunteer newsletters and ongoing commitment is flexible. Once your volunteer application is approved, you will be added to the newsletter list so you can keep up with current needs and opportunities.
We need help delivering Welcome Packs, beds, car seats, and other basic necessities to children entering foster care, as well as folks on standby for when various needs arise. Volunteers must be willing to drive to one of our Resource Centers in North Austin or Dripping Springs to pick up donations and deliver to foster homes in the Austin area. Commitment and hours are flexible; compassion for children and families walking through hard circumstances is a must. Once your application to volunteer is approved, volunteers will be added to a group notification app where you'll be notified of needs as they arise and have the ability to volunteer based on your availability.
Foster Village hosts a quarterly Parents’ Night Out, where we provide childcare so foster families can get a relaxing evening, a date night or just some time for themselves. We are always looking for extra helpers with a desire to love on these precious children for a few hours while their foster parents take a well-deserved break.
If cooking and serving others is your gifting, then we would love your help in blessing our families! We host monthly Support Gatherings for our caregivers, and volunteers can sign up to provide a meal for the 10-15 attendees. It can be a simple brunch with things like muffins and fruit or a dinner buffet with a few options for kids and adults. We send out a monthly signup sheet, so you can choose a date/time/location that works for you.
We offer internships for those looking to work in the field of foster care and social work. Experience with child development, foster care, social work, marketing, communications, non-profit development or health and human services is a plus. Flexible schedule and commitment for volunteer internships.
We are looking for "doers" with a passion for making a difference in the lives of children in foster care. If you've ever wanted to take the reins on a project that uses your unique gifts to enrich the lives of others, then we would love to have you on our team! We are looking for professionals with skills like marketing, accounting, fundraising, etc. who can commit to at least four hours per week, but hours and location are flexible.
Connect for Success Tutor
Connect for Success matches community volunteers with kids in foster care to give them the educational support they need to stay in school, improve academic performance, and achieve greater success later in life. Volunteer tutors do not have to be educators. Some may serve as guides and help with homework or reading and others may provide assistance in a particular subject. Tutors will be matched with a child in a grade level they are comfortable with. The program will be tailored to the needs and goals of each student. Training and ongoing support will be provided by program staff. The program requires volunteers to commit to weekly tutoring sessions for an entire school year. Must attend our two hour training and pass background checks.
What is your greatest need?
Thank you for asking! The families served through Foster Village are completely funded by your donations. We do not receive any state funding, and the number of families served is utterly dependent on what donations allow. For example, a large percentage of requests, like car seats, beds and mattresses, must be purchased new for safety reasons. When you give, however big or small, these urgent needs can be met.
Please visit the giving page to make an online donation or to become a Monthly Partner.
Our business is interested in being a support to our local foster care community. What are some ways to do this?
We are so grateful for businesses like yours! There are several partnership opportunities to show your support for our community’s most vulnerable. Please fill out our contact form and our Executive Director, Chrystal, will be in touch.
I have items I’d like to donate. What do you accept?
Thank you for thinking of Foster Village for your donations! At this time, we can only accept new donations of the basic necessities that we provide to children entering foster care (listed on our in-kind donations page and Amazon Wish List).
We cannot accept used car seats, mattresses, toys, or anything in need of repair.
While we appreciate the desire to give outgrown items to a good cause, when we receive a mountain of donations to sort through, it can be overwhelming to our small team and limited space and counterproductive to our mission. Since we distribute such a high volume of beds and car seats (hundreds each year!), we only accept those new to ensure safety.
For gently used items that we do not accept at our resource centers, we have created a community Facebook group called Foster Village Swap where folks can post items to donate directly to a foster family who wants them.
How do I make an in-kind donation?
To make an in-kind donation, please visit our In-Kind Donations page and fill out the form to request a drop off. A member of our team will review the items you would like to donate and be in touch to schedule a drop off time and location. Please note that we cannot accept unsolicited donations or drop offs.
We’d like to host a donation drive for new items. What are your most needed items?
I’m a foster parent in need of support. How can I get plugged in?
You are why we are here, and we look forward to supporting you! For more information about how we can serve you, fill out the Request Form, and we will get back to you within 24 hours.
Where are you located?
We have two resource centers: Oak Haven is located at 15400 Fitzhugh Rd. Dripping Springs 78620. And our Limerick resource center is located in North Austin at 12410 Limerick Ave. Austin 78758.
Please contact us to schedule a time to come by either location!
How can I request a weighted blanket and/or therapeutic toys?
We provide weighted blankets and other sensory and therapeutic objects through our Project SOOTHe program. To request an item, click here to fill out our request form and we will be in touch soon.
How do I volunteer?
We love our volunteers! They are what keep us running and help us connect foster families with the resources they need most. Please check out our current list of volunteer opportunities here. And if you have a special skill or expertise that you’d like to offer, please complete our contact form to provide us with details.
Do you have any after-hours volunteer options?
Our small team works primarily Monday- Friday from 9am-5pm, so we do not generally have volunteer opportunities on-site outside of those hours. As an alternative, we can give you a list of items to collect for Encouragement Packs and/or Family Connection Packs to assemble and drop off at your convenience.
We need a Foster Village in our city/town. How can we start one?
We are glad you asked! We have an affiliate program that allows those passionate about supporting foster families to replicate our model and materials in their city. To check out our current locations and application process here.
I’m interested in learning more about becoming a foster parent. Where should I start?
A willingness to learn more is the best place to start! We recommend researching your local child placement agencies and attending orientations to get a feel for which agency is the best fit. Recommendations from current foster parents can also be very helpful. Many of our volunteers start with us as a way to get a better feel for what it’s like to be a foster family and later go on to get licensed, so volunteering is a great first step as well.
Can someone from Foster Village come and speak at our school, church, small group, community group, etc.)?
Yes, we’d love to! Please complete our contact form and tell us a little about your event.
Have more questions? Drop us an email at .