Supporting Foster Families Through Transitions
The Fiaria Project, Inc. is a non-profit organization based in Bucks County, Pennsylvania dedicated to supporting foster families through transitions. Through the creation of “transition kits,” The Fiaria Project provides foster children with essential clothing, toiletries, and other basic items. The organization partners with area foster agencies and other organizations to distribute kits to families in need.
The Fiaria Project was formed in 2016 by Joseph Simek and Alexis Ridge-Simek as a way for the couple to continue to be a part of the foster community. In 2011, the couple fostered their now adopted daughter. Their experience with the foster care system inspires them to help families who have given their homes and their hearts to foster children.
It was a phone call that would forever change our lives.
When the foster agency called us to ask if we’d be willing to take our now adopted daughter Aria, we only needed a few minutes to decide to say yes. And in fact, we really only had a few minutes. Aria was only 2-weeks-old, and despite being born premature and only weighing 4 pounds, was being discharged from a Philadelphia hospital that day.
“The social worker will be at your house in 2 to 3 hours with the baby,” the agency said. We couldn’t believe it.
We immediately set to prepping our house for what would no doubt be an overnight radical change to our lifestyle. We tried to be as ready as we could in 120 minutes time, but we didn’t really know what kind of situation was arriving.
When Aria arrived, she came with almost nothing. She did have many blankets wrapped around her. As we unwrapped them to reveal her tiny, frail body, we collectively gasped. “She’s beautiful!” our 3-year-old daughter Fiona exclaimed, before anyone else could say a thing.
Four-pound Aria was swallowed by the 12-month-old onesie she was in. It was the only one she came with. Our minds raced to all the premature infant clothes we would need, but didn’t have. “How would we transport her in a normal car seat?” “Where will she sleep?” “Oh, we need smaller diapers — and bottles!”
In reality, our situation was pretty easy compared to the placement of other foster children of all ages, who are often uprooted or moved in more difficult ways. We were fortunate to be in a good financial situation. However, let’s be honest, that’s not a normal reality for many foster families in the Bucks County and Philadelphia area. And sometimes support checks take weeks to arrive.
The Fiaria Project has a simple mission: To support foster families during placements and transitions so at the very least they have the essential items they need to provide safe and loving homes to foster children.
In a way, The Fiaria Project started the day Aria was placed in our home and we experienced the need first hand. Four years later, we are so excited to bring aid to other families who have opened their homes and their hearts.
Thank you for supporting us in our mission.
The Fiaria Project creates what we call “Transition Kits” for foster families and children. The kits consist of clothing, toiletries and other basic items, and are created based on the ages of the foster children in need. The Fiaria Project distributes these kits for free to local foster agencies and related organizations, which then identify foster families that need the kits during or after child placement.
Help Build A Transition Kit
Is your group, organization, or class looking for a way to help foster kids? Build a Transition Kit! It’s simple: Use the list below and gather any or all of these NEW items for any age from infant to 18 and deliver them to us (contact us for drop off details). We’ll be sure to give the Transition Kit to foster kids and families in need.
Infant Transition Kit (Ages 0-1)
Baby Box w/ Lid
5 Pairs of Socks
Safe Sleeping Insert
*Please do NOT wrap items.
**We are currently not accepting used clothing or toys, diapers, and new large toys. Thank you!
NEW Items For Kits
Standard Transition Kit (Ages 1-18):
5 Tops (Shirt, Blouse)
5 Bottoms (Skirts, Pants)
5 Pairs Of Socks
7 Pairs Of Underwear
1 Pajamas Set
1 Hair Brush Or Comb
1 Bar of Soap
Additional Items (Based on Inventory and Need):
Soft Toy Or Book
Seasonal Items (Based on Inventory and Need):
Winter Hats and Gloves