The initiative began as a conversation in the spring of 2014 between Chosen for Life Ministries and the Clarke and Oconee County DFCS (Division of Family and Children Services) on how we might work with area churches to recruit, train, and support foster families. As we began to research, we came across the 1-1-1 Project that started in Oklahoma and spread to Georgia in 2012. We began working with Promise686 who oversees the 1-1-1 Initiative in Georgia to form our Foster Care Initiative.
CFLM's Foster Care Initiative is a collaborative strategy between churches, CFLM, and Promise686 (another independent 501(c)(3) organization) that mobilizes and equips churches and families to serve orphans and children in foster care.
- U.S. statistics indicate over 500,000 children in foster care.
- Approximately 12,000 children in Georgia are in foster care.
- There are 449 people who claim to be Christians for every foster child in the United States.
- There are currently over 300 children from Athens in foster care and around 60 foster homes available to these children.
- The significant deficit of foster homes means children are often moved far away from their community and school to other parts of the state, siblings are split up, and older children are placed into group homes.
Through our partnership with Promise686, our solution is to mobilize well-trained volunteers to support local foster families, which keeps approved foster families fostering longer. As volunteers serve through a Care Team, many are recruited to become foster families themselves, therefore increasing the number of homes available locally to children in care.
If we, as Christians, don’t give these “least and lost” the Gospel in both word and action, they may never know it and risk growing up to repeat the cycles of destruction from which they came.
A Calling to Care:
When people think of helping orphans, many immediately think of adoption. While that is one way to help, there are several other ways you can love and care for orphaned and vulnerable children. Each of us is called to respond to the Biblical command to care for these children, and we want to help equip you to do so!
Share the Vision. Not everyone is called to foster or adopt, but we can all do something! Through our Foster Care Initiative, you can serve on a Care Team in one of several roles that best fits your skill set and availability. Through bulletin announcements, compelling videos, a topical sermon, additional awareness events, extend the call to your church community to care for vulnerable children and consider becoming a CFLM partner church!
Identify a Church Advocate. The success of this venture depends on identifying a strong champion of foster care from within your church whom CFLM will train and equip to assist in recruiting and training Care Teams.
Recruit and Train Your Care Teams. The Church Advocate will work with our Foster Care Initiative Coordinator to recruit and train church members who are willing to share the load of caring for one particular foster family.
Serve Alongside Your Foster Families. With a trained CFLM Church Advocate and Care Team Members, it's just a matter of time until new foster families and enthusiastic volunteers are ready to begin caring for foster children in your area!
SOME OF THE MANY CARE TEAM ROLES ARE:
- Providing meals to a foster family
- Bringing diapers, age appropriate clothes, or personal hygiene items for a child
- Helping with school supplies, birthdays, and Christmas gifts
- Getting approved to babysit or provide respite (overnight) care
- Helping tutor, mentor, or provide occasional transportation assistance for appointments
Contact CFLM's Foster Care Initiative Coordinator, Kelly Brooks, to get started!
You can be a part of what Chosen for Life Ministries is doing, too! Visit our Volunteer page to contact us about joining a Care Team!