Foster care and faith, like peas and carrots
April 2023 · Forward in Hope
Among the many programs and services Saint Francis Ministries provides, three of our most prominent are foster and kinship care and adoption. This means we must continuously work hard to recruit professional and committed foster care providers. It also means we’re always on the lookout to form and strengthen relationships with churches and other faith-based organizations like Saint Francis.
A significant number of our caregivers are motivated by their faith to serve as foster, kinship, or adoptive parents. They find that providing a safe and loving home for children in need gives them purpose, strengthens their family, and enriches their spiritual life.
Our foster caregivers also work with birth families to help ensure that the children they foster can safely return home, and they continue to serve as a supportive resource for birth parents after the family is reunited.
None of this should be surprising since the Bible repeatedly mandates care for orphans (which can also be taken to include children in foster care).
Take, for instance, James 1:27 – “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to care for orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.”
Research indicates that about 4 in 10 Protestant churchgoers say their congregation has been involved with adoption or foster care in the past year. Also, among Protestant churchgoers, at least a quarter have provided foster care, and about 12 percent have leaders that have encouraged members to provide foster care. Source: LifeWay Research
Saint Francis has also worked with congregations in which multiple members foster or become licensed to foster simply so they can provide respite care for foster/kinship parents. Some have even hosted parties for kids in care so the foster parents can enjoy a date night.
SFM also participates in Care Portal, a network of local churches that can quickly mobilize teams to provide tangible items – such as beds, clothes, etc. – by connecting them with child welfare professionals, like our own frontline social workers at Saint Francis.
Yet, despite these wonderful partnerships, we still need committed, qualified caregivers to serve as foster, kinship, or adoptive parents. Perhaps that parent is you.
What do you think? Is there room in your pew for another?
Learn how you can serve children and youth in need of a safe place to land by visiting our foster care page.