5 ways your church can impact the foster care systemJulie Smith
Your church and its body of believers has a divine calling from Jesus to love and serve others just as He did. By following His perfect example and living an active faith, your church can make a real difference in the lives of some of the most vulnerable members of our society, which includes the over 400,000 U.S. children in foster care.
Throughout the Bible, God places special concern on those who are marginalized, vulnerable, fatherless, and orphaned. The foster care system is overrun with children experiencing these adversities, and they need your discipleship to show them Christ’s love. For the majority of these children, removal from their home and placement into foster care is preventable when families have connection to more supports in the local community. Your church has an important duty to shield children from maltreatment and help maintain, reunite, and connect children with family.
Explore these five ways your church can have a profound impact on the foster care system and get involved in the way that works best for your church:
Gather with other members from your church and/or devote some time alone to praying for children and families involved in the foster care system. You can also reference this Foster Care Prayer Guide which was created by CAFO members and walks you through 24 different groups of people associated with the foster care system that need your prayers.
Gather and share information about foster care in your community with church members. If possible, invite a child welfare worker to speak about the number of children in foster care, reasons for entering care, resources and supports needed, and more.
Enroll your church to respond to the needs of vulnerable children and families through CarePortal. The platform makes it easy to assemble your response team, receive alerts when an urgent, vetted need for a nearby family is shared, and mobilize your team to respond.
Encourage members of your church to complete the training to become licensed foster and/or adoptive parents. Members can also become respite caregivers to support foster parents and provide short-term care for children. Seek out members of your church who have already gone through the process and invite them to share their experience. Your church can also wrap around foster families and offer support in a variety of meaningful ways.
Approach church leaders about starting a foster care ministry and recruit church members to join. Identify who will lead the ministry, then create an action plan with a budget and communications plan to build awareness and engagement.