The Church is the Answer
We can try to redefine the Need to fit within what we are willing to do as a Church. Or, we can simply ask God to help us meet the Need that actually exists.
Joy Meadows runs a program called “Fostering Joy” that trains churches how to set up a foster awareness event; recruit foster families; create a foster care ministry; and sustain foster families through church volunteers creating Care Teams for each family. Whatever the size of your church or denomination, the Fostering Joy model gives a framework for everyone to do something. In addition, it provides an on-line portal with ongoing resources, curriculum, and a database to track your foster/adoptive families’ needs and volunteers.
The information about the Fostering Joy program is provided through a one-day training called the Church Advocate Clinic. These clinics are offered three times a year. After attending the Church Advocate Clinic training you will receive access to the on-line portal. Questions? Please contact Justin Oberndorfer at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can answer any questions you might have.
Our next clinic is Saturday, June 1st, 9 a.m.-4 p.m., early-bird cost is $125 per person through May 18th. Then $135. Group discounts available. Our host location is Westside Family Church, Lenexa.
Upcoming clinics will be held in September, 2019; February, 2020; and June, 2020!
With the rising number of children in foster care, we have a generation of youth who will age out of the foster system who will never be part of a loving, stable family setting. As a Church we can sit back and complain that the governmental “system” is broken. Or, we can realize exactly what it is – it is a system. It is a framework designed to manage the children who are in the state’s custody. It is the Church that is to come within that system and be the heart, the healing, and the hope.
There are many questions to get started. What does it take to become a foster parent? What is required to be a volunteer? What agencies are out there? Or, you may have people in your church who have started fostering, but if we serve in isolation we do not have the power of a movement. How do you network and support your foster families? How do you network with other churches in your area? Through the “Fostering Joy” network join churches who are committed to foster care, and receive the support needed to answer these questions.