A new initiative to bring hope and healing to the children of Elkhart County. Maybe you can do something like this in your area. Here are the details.
- Elkhart County has 250+ kids in “out of home” foster care
- 1 out of every 5 of those kids are placed in homes outside of Elkhart County
- Over 100 kids do not have Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA’s) to advocate for their needs in court
- There are over 2,200 children in the state of IN waiting to be adopted. 50% of those are under the age of 8
- About 50% of foster parents quit within a year of their first placement
- Many attribute it to a lack of support from their family, friends, and caseworkers, as well as a lack of preparation for the erratic behaviors of children from hard places
Entering into foster care without being properly prepared can be very damaging to both the foster family and to the foster child/ren. If the placement has to be disrupted and the children placed into a different home the child/ren will only experience more trauma. The need is too great to be handled by isolated individual families assisted by the government. It needs be a function of the church with organized support groups to assist foster and adoptive parents.
Our desire is to function as a liaison between the state and local church to communicate needs. We want to partner with local faith communities to help them figure out how to get involved and provide training and resources to help them be successful. Our involvement might include:
- Starting an orphan care ministry
- Expanding an orphan care ministry
- Recruiting “Support Families” to focus on supporting current foster families
- Trainings on how to care for children from hard places
- Connecting with other faith communities to share information on support groups, bible studies, ministry partnerships, etc.
- Empower churches to figure out how they can most effectively care for local orphans
- To have a permanent surplus of foster families and CASA’s in Elkhart County
- To see the majority of local faith communities involved in some way. There are roughly the same number of churches in Elkhart County as there are foster kids. We would love to see every congregation play a role in their care.