General Questions and Answers about iFoster
What is iFoster?
iFoster is a non-profit with a mission of providing
life-changing resources to children being raised outside of their biological
homes. We launched www.ifoster.org in October 2010 by bringing free and
discounted resources to the community from private, public and government
service providers to help close the funding gap in foster care.
Is iFoster a direct service organization or a government agency?
No. iFoster is an online community and “benefits program”
for the child welfare community. We offer our services via our online portal at
www.ifoster.org. iFoster is a non-profit organization that works with corporate partners and philanthropy to bring new resources, supports and programs to our community. We work very closely with child welfare departments and agencies to support their work and help serve their clients. We do receive grant funding from the Federal Children’s Bureau, and have hundreds of government agencies and departments using our services.
How do I access iFoster’s resources and services?
iFoster is a free, online community that can be found at
Who qualifies to be an iFoster member?
* Transition-age foster youth (ages 16 to 24)
* Families and Caregivers (foster, kinship, relative,
near-kin, legal guardian, adoptive)
* Case Workers, Social Workers, Attorneys, CASAs, Judges,
* Direct Service Organizations (i.e. group home, transitional
housing, FFA, ILP)
* Other Support Organizations (i.e. CASA, support/advocacy
groups, associations, government)
Why are you doing this?
One of iFoster’s founders is a former foster youth and
former technology industry executive / the other founder is a former business
development and investment banking executive. iFoster is a result of their
collective experience and desire to create a unique community and services for
the foster care community.
iFoster is of the community for the community. Everyone at
iFoster has ties to child welfare and as such care deeply about improving the
lives of the children and youth who, through no fault of their own, live
outside of their biological homes due to abuse, violence or neglect. We believe
in the power of community and are aggregating what is a highly fragmented
system into one powerful group who will transform child welfare.
We started by getting our community the resources they need
and closing the funding gap. But our goal is much larger. By building a strong,
supportive, inclusive community, we believe we can raise a collective voice to
force change - change in public perception of children in care and change in
the system. It is only when every child has the opportunity and the tools to
become successful, independent adults and reach their full potential that
iFoster will have met its goal.
How long has iFoster been operating?
iFoster launched in October of 2010. Since then, iFoster has
become one of the largest and most inclusive national organizations in child
welfare with over 30,000 members helping raise over 3 million children and youth in all 50 states.
How large is the iFoster community?
iFoster currently has more than 30,000 members, representing
over 3 million children and $Billions in collective purchasing power. Members
range from individual transition-age youth, to caregivers raising foster
children, to organizations helping hundreds of families, to State and Federal
agencies representing thousands of families.
Does iFoster restrict or exclude any groups?
We are a community with one thing in common, our collective
efforts to raise our most vulnerable children and youth. iFoster does not exclude any individual or
group based on race, beliefs, sexual orientation or income level. We observe
state and federal laws, and comply with requests from legal and regulatory
Is your website secure?
Yes. iFoster has an extremely talented and experienced
development team to protect all of our information. Our website is SSL
certified and HIPPA compliant,
How can I help out?
There are 3 ways in which you can help out:
1) Spread the
word! If you are interested in spreading the word to others in our community,
we can provide iFoster outreach materials to you. Please contact us at
2) Give us feedback! We need community input to continuously
improve what we do, how we do it and how we represent the community. You can
send us feedback through the website (click on the notepad icon) or email us at
firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 1-855-936-7837. We will routinely be posting
surveys too which is a great way for you to let us know what you think.
3) Help us out! iFoster is funded by
donations and every little bit counts. If we've helped you out, consider adding
us to your company's employee giving, giving yourself or introducing us to your
really, really rich very, very old uncle (preferably one named Buffett).
How can my company participate?
Let us help your employees. We are an employee benefit for
your organization. Do you know how many of your employees may qualify for
iFoster? How many foster, kinship, relative, adoptive parents are your
employees? How many are former foster youth?
Share your resources with our community. If you have a
product or service that our community uses, we’d love to make it available to
them. All we ask is that you make your
best offer available to our community. We’ll pass the savings along to our
members who represent millions of children and youth, and $Billions in
Who are iFoster’s supporters?
The best recognition is when a member calls in and says thank
you and shares how we have been able to help them! It is also wonderful when
individuals and organizations outside of our community recognize us as well.
Some of our key supporters include:
Citizen Innovator, The White House Office of Social
Innovation and Civic Engagement
Echoing Green Fellowship 2012
America's Leader of Change, National Urban Fellows 2012
"1 Laptop per Foster Youth" recognized as one of
the best Microsoft Refurbisher Programs globally by Microsoft (2012-2013)
Federal Children’s Bureau
Key, wonderful, foundations that support our work
Should my organization have one membership, or should each
employee and beneficiary have their own?
Each membership is unique and cannot be used by more than
one member at a time. We encourage each organization to determine how they want
their staff to use iFoster. Direct service staff who are in constant
communication with caregivers, families and youth may want to have their own
membership so they can search for resources for their cases. We also encourage
your caregiver and youth beneficiaries that qualify to register for iFoster as
there are resources available to meet their unique needs.
What information do you collect and why?
We respect your privacy and information and do NOT share it.
We collect your name, email, state, zip code in order to provide you with the
national, regional and local resources that can meet your needs. We also ask
for your member type and the child welfare serving agency or organization you
are associated with in order to verify you are of the community.