In the State of Kansas we have over 7,600 children in foster care, and have seen a cumulative increase of 39% over the last five years. At the same time, we have only 2,700 foster homes to care for these children and the burnout rate of foster homes is at around 10 months and they quit. We literally have “homeless foster children” as many children do not have foster homes to go to and sleep in agency offices, or they are moved to a new temporary home every 24 hours so they do not have a home, a family, or a school to belong to.
We know that the only hope for these children is the love of Jesus Christ. Only HE can provide the miraculous healing to their deep wounds caused by trauma. We know that the only compassion that is sustainable is the love that comes from the Holy Spirit as it is beyond the grace, empathy, strength or wisdom that any person could have on their own. As a Church, we not only have the Hope, the Healer, and the Answer to this crisis; but we have the direct mandate from God’s Word to care for the orphan, the least of these, the sick, the homeless, the naked, the poor, and the lost (Matthew 25:35-40). How can we continue to withhold that from our children? The Church is the answer to provide the foster homes needed for our homeless foster children in Kansas and Missouri.
As a Church we have also have the unique understanding of Biblical Community. Many families throughout our churches have already stepped up to the call to become foster or adoptive parents. However, for the most part they are serving in isolation and do not have the support of our local church bodies. Just as we support one another to growth in discipleship and holiness, we must support these families so they can continue to grow in holiness and be effective in their ministry rather than become wounded and isolated. The need is so great, there is a way for every person to respond at a different level in our church. It is our responsibility to present the need, the answer, and the way of response to each of our local church bodies. The Church is the answer to provide support for foster families who answer the call to bring homeless foster children into their home, so we can change the retention rate of foster families in Kansas in Missouri.