Our Foster Care Initiative began in 2014 as our ministry saw the drastic need for more foster homes to care for the more than 250 children in foster care in Clarke and Oconee counties alone. We believe that the Church is called to step into the foster care crisis and become known for the love of Christ by caring for children and families! Through our Foster Care Initiative, we aim to:
Equip Churches - We love helping families engage in ministry to vulnerable children, seeing church members equipped to find a role in child welfare and in serving within their church, and helping the Church see its role and opportunity to care for vulnerable children.
Support Families - Families are able to foster longer, sustainably, and take more placements because of the support they receive. Care Teams provide ongoing, reliable, and consistent support to families by bringing weekly meals, providing babysitting and child mentorship, and by praying and encouraging the family throughout the length of their placement.
Serve Children - As more families within local churches become foster parents, children have the opportunity to be in a family that displays the gospel to them. They also experience more stability throughout their placements which ultimately leads to less traumatic impact during their time in foster care.
Impact the Community - Through this movement, the Church will become known for caring for vulnerable children as they meet the needs within their local communities. Chosen for Life helps to bridge relationships with local DFCS and local churches so that DFCS sees the Church as their greatest resource.
From 2014 to 2016, we saw an overwhelming response from local churches in Clarke and Oconee Counties. Through the 24 churches who joined the work of our Foster Care Initiative during those years, we trained over 550 volunteers to create 60 Care Teams supporting local foster families. During those years, Clarke and Oconee county saw an increase in the overall number of foster homes rise from just under 20 to nearly 60!
We want to see this type of support continue to grow within these counties and throughout our region! A foster parent in a neighboring county has said,
In 2017 we began to expand our Foster Care Initiative so that more churches, in more counties, could begin supporting children and families and step into the foster care crisis in their own communities. In the summer of 2017, we began our expansion efforts by connecting with local churches in Walton County. We’ve since connected with 9 churches to help create 9 Care Teams to support families within this county!
Throughout the 12 counties that make up DFCS Region 5, there are over 1,100 children in foster care. However, there are only 446 foster homes. There remains a significant deficit of families needed to care for these children.
With your help, we want to continue expanding our Foster Care Initiative to serve all 12 counties. Our hope is to equip local churches throughout our region to develop sustainable support structures for families who are already fostering, while also increasing the awareness of the need for more families to find a role in caring for these children.
Giving a financial gift to Chosen for Life Ministries is a way you can watch us grow! We want to reach more churches through our Foster Care Initiative to help communities care for vulnerable children.
Through your giving, you are allowing our ministry to continue expanding our Foster Care Initiative which will allow us to serve more children through the local church.