The Dreamers and Believers Application Process
Dreamers and Believers is a FAFS program that provides financial assistance for foster parents to help your child to participate in an enrichment activity of their choice. The program, funded by the Dreams R Us Foundation, provides grants of up to $600 to help your child participate in things like music lessons, sports clubs or space camp!
Before You Begin
Before you fill out the application, it’s important to know a few things about how the program works:
1) This Is Your Child’s Dream, Not Your Dream For The Child
The application will require you to tell us what your child’s dream is. It’s imperative that your child be the one to fill this section out, or, if they are unable, that you fill it out from their perspective. If your child wants to be an astronaut but you want them to be a doctor, your submission should be about space, not first aid.
2) You Do Not Directly Receive Money
The money provided by this program goes directly to the organization that is facilitating your child’s dream activity.
3) Funding Is Limited
The Dreams R Us Foundation requires that we review each application, so a FAFS Board of Directors committee selects the winning applications. Unfortunately, we can’t approve every application due to limited funding, so not every dream will be granted. There is no guarantee that your application will be accepted.
Now that you’re familiar with the basics of how the grants work, let’s walk through the application process!
Step 1: Visit FAFS’ Website
You can get to the Dreamers and Believers application by following this link:
Step 2: Select your resource family type
At the bottom of the page, you’ll see three choices: Foster Care/Kinship Care, Adopted from DCP&P and Kinship Legal Guardianship (KLG). Click the option that applies to you.
Step 3: Enter your child’s information
Fill out the form with the standard information about your child (name, birthday, address, etc.) and proceed to the next page.
Step 4: Enter your information
Fill out the form with your contact information. This step will vary based on your selection in Step 2. If you’re a Kinship Legal Guardian, you’ll need to include a copy of your KLG paperwork.
Step 5: Enter the vendor information
Here, you’ll enter the information for the company or organization that will help your child’s dream come true.
Step 6: Have your child tell us about their dream!
This step is critical – the form asks for some specifics, including what the child’s dream is, the specific amount being asked for, what type of activity the child will be partaking in and how that activity will help your child pursue their dream.
PLEASE NOTE: This section, except for the amount, MUST be filled out by the child, or, if your child is too young, from the child’s point of view. For instance, if your 6-year-old wants to be an astronaut but can’t write yet, you might fill out the form by saying, “I will use the money to go to space camp. My dream is to become an astronaut. This will help me to become an astronaut because I will learn all about how space works.” Again, this section MUST be completed from the child’s perspective or it will be disqualified from consideration.
Step 7: Finishing the process
If your application is accepted and your child’s dream granted, there are just a few more things that need to take place before the process is complete. First, before we can pay the vendor, we’ll need you to submit a proof of deposit and a “Thank You” letter (again, in the child’s own words) to the generous donors who make this program possible. Then, the vendor must send us a W-9 (sometimes, depending on the vendor, this can cause a little bit of a delay in final approval).
That’s it – You’re Done!
With that, your child is well on their well to living their dream! Dreamers and Believers is just one of the great ways FAFS provides financial assistance for foster parents. Look below to see our other helpful programs aimed at giving your foster child the best memories without worrying about your wallet.
Other Financial Assistance for Foster Parents
For Foster Children of All Ages:
Fostering Wishes: $75 mini-grants for “little extras” for your foster child
Summer Camp Scholarships: One free week of overnight camp for your foster child
We Birthdays: Free birthday gifts for foster children
For Older Foster Youth:
Private Scholarships: Donors provide a limited number of educational and opportunity grants each year to help with schooling and self-sufficiency for foster teens
NJFC Scholars: NJFC helps eligible foster youth to cover a variety of college expenses
Frank Alvarez is the Digital Media Coordinator at Foster and Adoptive Family Services.