Safe Families for Children
What would it look like if a Christian family lived out the Gospel by opening its home to a child in need? What would it look like if the Church community banded together to provide children at risk of abuse or neglect safe places to spend a night, or two, or even months? How would our neighborhoods and cities be impacted by the love of Christ if more and more families in our churches stepped into a desperate situation before bad things happen to children?
Safe Families at Cornerstone strives to respond to these pressing questions. Safe Families for Children is a movement fueled by compassion to keep children safe and families intact. Through dedicated volunteers made up of Host Families, Family Friends, and Family Coaches, Safe Families temporarily hosts children and provides a network of support to families in crisis while they get back on their feet. Instead of waiting for bad things to happen to children, Safe Families finds volunteer families to care for vulnerable children in a safe and loving environment.
Safe Families for children
In many situations, parents or guardians may be incapable of providing a safe and caring environment for their children, putting them at risk of abuse and neglect. In the past, extended family or neighbors stepped in to help families in crisis by caring for their children for short periods of time.
Today, however, many families are socially isolated, and their extended family is nonexistent, or unavailable, or unable to help. Adding to the problem is the fact that most state child welfare agencies are required under law to rescue only those children who suffer blatant abuse or neglect, leaving thousands of children at risk.
Volunteers who host children and support parents are known as Host Families and are recruited from a large network of faith communities. Families in Crisis willingly place their children with a safe, loving, and thoroughly screened volunteer Host Family for a short period of time. They can reunite with their children at any time. Both the Family in Crisis and the Host Family participate voluntarily, with no compensation or expectation of adoption.
- Host Families: Screened and approved by Safe Families, Host Families take in children for short periods of time.
- Family Friends: They provide support to Families in Crisis (e.g., mentoring and transportation) and Host Families (e.g., babysitting and providing meals).
- Resource Friends: They provide various type of resources to help parents get back on their feet.
- Family Coaches: They are trained to provide resources and casework-like services to Families in Crisis. They also ensure that kids are well cared for in Host Family homes.
- Safe Families PLUS Mentors: These volunteers mentor young adults aging out of foster care.
To learn more about how you can participate, please contact the Director of Safe Families at Cornerstone, Erica Hang, at firstname.lastname@example.org