About Our Chapter
When a crisis strikes, many of us rely on relatives and friends for support. But for some families, poverty and social isolation mean that they have no support when they need it. Often, a straightforward problem such as post-partum depression or unemployment can be debilitating. Children in these situations often suffer neglect or abuse; some eventually are removed from their home and placed in state custody.
Safe Families for Children provides a chance for parents to get back on their feet before abuse and neglect occur. Parents experiencing a temporary crisis can arrange for their children to stay with families while they address the issues that led to their situation.
Churches can deepen their involvement in the Safe Family movement with Ministry Leads who build ways for all volunteers to work together to sustain each other, including support groups,“clothing closets,”
child care networks and other services.
Family coaches learn about families in crisis from a variety of referral sources, including schools, hospitals, social workers, churches and other community development organizations. Our staff works quickly to contact an available volunteer family to host vulnerable children in crisis. These volunteers agree to the hosting at their own discretion, and can put a time limit on their involvement. The average length of stay is about six weeks, but can range from two days to a year. Volunteers are screened and approved through background checks, home studies and fingerprint check. And they serve without compensation.
Parents in need maintain full custody of their child at all times. And they are encouraged to participate in decisions regarding their child’s care while they address whatever issues led to the crisis. For some, this could mean drug rehabilitation. For others, it might involve leaving an abusive relationship or finding steady employment.