Life-Changing Help for Hurting Children
Have you ever considered becoming a foster parent? Every year, more than 3 million reports of suspected child abuse are made in the United States. Each case is investigated to determine if the child is being abused or neglected and should be removed from the home. The child is placed in foster care with a family who provides a compassionate refuge. Unfortunately, about 16% of the children needing foster care annually are placed in group homes due to a shortage of foster families.
We view foster parenting as a calling. Yes, it can be challenging, requiring patience, flexibility, and an extra dose of unconditional love. But what a precious opportunity to influence the life of a hurting child.
To ensure the safety of the foster child, foster parents are required to be licensed, which includes valuable training in working with children who may have been traumatized. Foster parents also receive a monthly stipend to assist with the additional expenses of caring for a child. Foster children range in age from infants to teenagers and on average, remain with their foster families for eight to nine months.
Churches also can play a role in foster parenting. One of the churches we work with provides Christmas gifts for children in foster care. Another church gathers supplies and gives each of our foster kids a back-to-school backpack every fall. Many churches also provide support groups to foster families in their congregations. We also believe churches could reach out to parents in crisis who have had their children removed, mentoring and supporting them as they strive to become better parents.
Like adoption, foster care isn’t for everyone, but everyone can play a role in this much-needed resource for families in crisis. We’d love to show you how.
 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Administration on Children, Youth and Families, Children’s Bureau. (2011). Child Maltreatment 2010. Available from http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cb/stats_research/index.htm#can
 Adoption and Foster Care Reporting System (AFCRS), 2009.
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