USA (MNN) — Foster parenting is an incredible way to restore hope to children who have suffered loss, abuse, and trauma. Wouldn't it be wonderful, though, if those children never had a need for foster care…if the problem stopped before it got to that?
A preventive approach could be to help parents out when they are in the midst of crisis. And Bethany Christian Services does just that with their Safe Families for Children program.
Safe Families provides a two-way opportunity. The first is to give parents in crisis some options. Parents who are facing sudden job loss, eviction, postpartum depression, illness, domestic violence, unplanned pregnancy and other crises can choose to place their children temporarily in the care of another loving family until they can get their feet back on the ground.
On average, children stay with what's known as their "Safe Family" for about 45 days. There, they can be blessed by a loving, godly family by their parents' choice, rather than as a result of being taken away. In a Safe Family situation, children are not in the custody of the State. Parents remain actively involved in their children's lives and develop a relationship with the host family.
The second opportunity the program presents is for families who decide to host children. Being a Safe Family is a much smaller time commitment than something like foster care, but it is still an opportunity to speak truth and love into a child's life when his or her own family is going through a rough time.
The goal is always to reunite the children with their parents; but in the meantime, host families are able to play a significant role in the lives of kids who might otherwise be neglected. It's a beautiful way to make Christ's name known to a child who may not know Him.
Safe Families are needed all across the United tates. To find a program near you, click here. Get more information by calling 1-855-273-SAFE (7233).