The 9 Purpose Statements of CarePortalGO Project
CarePortal has served more than 45,000 child needs across 20 states and generated more than $16mm in economic impact since its launch in 2015. See real-time impact.
There are so many needs and opportunities to serve within the child welfare system. But what does “serve” mean? What difference do these requests — for things like beds, bus passes, clothes, cleaning supplies and class fees — make for these children and their families? Every single time a church or individual responds to a request on behalf of a child in their community, it accomplishes one of the 9 purposes below.
In the coming weeks, we’re going to break down each of these purpose statements, and share stories of the requests this caring community has responded to and the role they play. We hope you’ll follow along, both to learn and to share with others how little moments can make a transformative difference in the life of a child in your own neighborhood.
9. Help improve a child’s wellbeing
No matter the child’s circumstance, their wellbeing is the utmost important. Through CarePortal, you have the opportunity to help improve this. Read more about how a simple request of toys gave one child so much hope.
A 10-year-old boy that experienced substantial trauma from his previous caregiver was in need of toys. He was neglected by his family and came into foster care with nothing. Having his own toys would help give this child something to call his own and care for. Having his own belongings would help this child feel like someone cared about him. This would also help him by giving him something to do and provide a way to relieve feelings of stress, fear and anxiety through positive interactions and play time.
“The Church was able to meet the need of this child quickly and has provided such a simple blessing to a kid who has been through so much and deserves so much better. A child was in need of toys to play with and call his own after coming into foster care and having nothing, he now is able to have his own possessions and toys to play with. Thank you so much Laura Bloomfield and Asbury United Methodist Church for reaching out to us and helping this child. You really don’t know what this small act of kindness has provided for this young boy. Thank you for all you do and God bless.”
8. Help support a youth aging out
Aging out of the system can be extremely challenging for youth to cope with. Meeting a simple request can help take the pressure off the youth and make it just that much smoother. See how simply receiving contacts changed the outlook of a youth aging out below.
A 17-year-old girl aging out of foster care last month had just entered a residential job training program and wanted to start wearing contact lenses — to give her new confidence as she entered adulthood. Unfortunately, Medicaid wouldn’t cover the cost. So the Church did! Here is a joyful response from her caseworker:
“My client was able to receive contacts and wearing them has already boosted her self-esteem. She’s proud to show me she can put them in and take care of them, but mostly she’s excited to wear eye makeup, something that wasn’t comfortable for her while wearing glasses.”
7. Help preserve an adoptive placement
Meeting the needs of an adoptive family ensures ongoing stability, permanency and well-being for the child and family. Read about how CarePortal supported an adoptive grandmother below.
This is a single grandmother who has been caring for her four grandchildren who are 11-year-old boy, 5-year-old girl, 4-year-old girl and a 1-year-old girl. The grandmother is currently unemployed due to taking care of her grandchildren full time. She just recently moved into a new home. This grandmother does not have enough beds for her grandchildren.
“Her grandchildren were very happy to show me everything they received when I visited. Thank everyone for everything that you did. The grandmother cried to know that someone was helping them.”
6. Help make an adoptive placement
Help support a family that is going through the adoption process. This is a new, exciting journey that families choose to go on with its own set of emotional, financial and other challenges. Read about how one potential adoptive mother had a need met through CarePortal that gave her the support she needed.
An adoptive mother has recently had some financial hardship outside of her control and was having trouble paying her electric bill. She recently started a second job in an effort to make more money to pay her bills. The adoptive mother is unable to commit at this time to adoption based on the idea that there are several unpaid bills because of this hardship. We are requesting for the electric bill to be paid in an effort to keep the electricity on and avoid late/disconnect fees and support the adoption.
“Thank you so much for helping the family! This will help the single mom another month.”
5. Help preserve a foster care or kinship placement
Many kinship families provide care outside of the formal foster care system and therefore may not be aware of their eligibility for resources and services to help them be successful. Preserving a foster care or kinship placement helps provide stability for the child that may already be facing extreme duress from all of trauma they are facing in their changing life. Read about how a kinship family generously took in five siblings and were able to preserve their placement with a little help from the Church below.
A kinship family took in a sibling group of five children ages 4-10 and was paying out of pocket for all of the expenses needed until their foster care payments started months later. The foster mother recently had surgery and was out of work, so they are all living off only one income. Their caseworker put in a request in CarePortal for funds for groceries to help the family.
“These five children have been through a lot, including the death of their grandfather, who was their previous caregiver. Being able to help preserve this foster family and allow the children to stay together has been such a blessing.”
4. Help make a foster care or kinship placement
Kinship care is the preferred option when out-of-home care is needed for a child. This option can reduce trauma and help children maintain family bonds, a sense of belonging and even their identity. Helping make a foster care or kinship placement means putting the safety and needs of the child as the top priority. Read about the three siblings below that were able to be placed together due to a CarePortal request being met.
Three children were removed from their biological family and the caseworker was attempting to place them together in a kinship home. In order to be placed together, they needed three twin beds, bed sheets and bed frames.
“This experience was wonderful! The children were able to all be placed together due to this request being met.”
3. Help reunify a biological family
Foster care is not always forever. Children and youth can and do return home to their families and sometimes need support with the reunification process. Returning children home often requires intensive, family-centered services to support a safe and stable family. Read about how a single mother was supported during this exciting, scary reunification below.
A single mother was being reunified with her four children. The mother moved into her new home; but was in need of the following: a refrigerator, washer/dryer, food and used appliances so the caseworker submitted a request through CarePortal for these necessary items.
“My heart is filled with joy and my mind is eased when parents and children have their immediate needs met. Through the assistance of our local church members, the families referred are able not only to have their needs met; but, make the crucial social connections which will support them through any future hard times they may face. What can I say – people reaching out and helping people truly shows the compassion needed to affect the change needed in our world!”
2. Help prevent a child from entering foster care
Keeping kids in their biological families and from entering foster care means maintaining a sense of safety and comfort for the children. It means having to deal with one less change and bit of chaos in their life. Something as simple as a bed can keep children in a home with their loved ones.
A single mother with an 18 month-old boy needed a toddler bed and bedding provided for her son due to financial need. The child was sleeping on the couch until a request was submitted through CarePortal.
“This kindness and charity will allow a young child to sleep in a safe and comfortable environment. The family and I are very grateful. Thank you so much.”
1. Help strengthen a biological family
This proves to be an incredible opportunity to provide hope, peace and comfort to a biological family. Many families face difficult times in their life and need support: whether that be financially, emotionally, etc. It is good to know you have a community of caring individuals behind you that are willing and able to help strengthen your family and keep it together. Here is an example of what began as an incredibly disheartening situation for a family working very hard to make ends meet, turned into a beautiful chance for strangers to walk alongside each other and carry that burden together.
After mom and dad lost their jobs unexpectedly, a request was submitted to CarePortal for help paying the rent in the interim.
“Meeting this need prevented a family from having to go through the eviction process in the legal system and potentially becoming homeless as a result. I cannot express enough appreciation to Restore Church for stepping up and meeting this need! You truly did restore this family’s sense of safety and security.”
Serve at-risk children and families in your own community.