Second Chances Month!
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What Are Our Roles Biblically?
Defend the poor and fatherless; do justice to the afflicted and needy. (Psalm 82:3 KJV) Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world. (James 1:27 KJV)
U.S. Missions is committed to a philosophy of ministry, based on these scriptural mandates, to assist the vulnerable children in the foster care system and the families who serve them as foster or adoptive parents.
Think you can't help because you're not in a position to foster or adopt? Not true, say U.S. Missionaries Gary and Tammie Webb. Check out their training materials from OCJ Kids and learn how caring church members can get connected as volunteer mentors for foster children living in group home settings, help with special events, and much more. Read more about Gary and Tammie's work, and get some ideas for how you can help too, in this PE News article.
Click here for a testimony of how much a supportive church has meant to one foster/adoptive family.
New research report from the North American Council on Adoptable Children: Research on Institutional Care of Vulnerable Children. This report establishes the importance of foster and adoptive families, citing numerous studies finding that troubled youth thrive better in those settings than in institutional care.
Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics report: America's Children: Key National Indicators of Well-Being (comprehensive anaylsis of children's living conditions, economic status, family status, and more)
The Annie E. Casey Foundation's Kids Count Data Center: Design a custom report of social and economic information for kids in your state or county.
State Adoption and Foster Care Information from Adopt US Kids
Adoption Factbook from the National Council for Adoption
(Click on the name to see the ministry.)
Jay Mooney, COMPACT Family Services (read more about COMPACT in this PE News article, "Untold Story of Heartbreak and Victory")
CarePortal connects local churches to children and families in crisis. Your church can access training resources and information and then sign up to receive real-time alerts when a family or child in your area needs help.
From OCJ Kids: Foster care training - email Gary to schedule training for your church, or check out their Journey into Adulthood transition program. Inspire your church with the Church Volunteer Community Outreach Video.
"Three Ways the Church Can Support Adoptive Families" - a pastor who is also an adoptive dad shares the need to go beyond sermons and finances to surrounding adoptive families with practical and tangible expressions of caring.
Christian Alliance for Orphans (CAFO) - network of organizations and churches sharing the belief that Christians must step in to help orphans and at-risk children, offering resources and training.
CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) - Having a special friend to help navigate the system can make all the difference for a foster child. Search "CASA" and your location to find an office that serves your county and find out how your church members can be trained as advocates. Alternative volunteer opportunities such as fundraising or helping with special events are also available.
Highlands Maternity Home, an affiliate of CompACT. offers a supportive Christian environment for young women facing an unplanned pregnancy. Life skills training, adoption resources, and quality medical care help build hope for the future.
Enrichment Journal article by Jay Mooney with testimonies and how-to's for churches
Royal Family Kids: Kids' camps, mentoring programs, training for mentors, churches, and volunteers
Fathers in the Field: This program trains church-going men to use their love of the outdoors, hunting and fishing skills, and nature to mentor young boys who do not have a father figure in their lives.
Orphan Sunday - information and resources for awareness and event planning
Teen Leadership Foundation: Resources for starting a mentoring ministry to teens aging out of the foster system.
The Mentoring Project: Connecting the faith community to matching agencies to provide mentors for fatherless youth.
Article, "Adoptive Families Need Help," challenging the church community to come alongside adoptive parents.
From Vital Magazine: "Ten Things No One Tells You About Adoption" - Light-hearted yet hard-hitting, this article by an adoptive mom comments on a few things you probably won't hear quite this way anywhere else!
The cost of adoption presents an unfortunate barrier for many families. "Both Hands" takes fundraising to a new level of ministry by linking potential adoptive families and pledging sponsors with widows who need service projects done around their home.
Adoption myths vs. realities from AdoptUSKids
BraveLove - pro-adoption movement dedicated to honoring birth moms for their brave decision to place their child for adoption.
Highlands Maternity Home - Supporting young women through an unplanned pregnancy and the adoption process.
Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption: The founder of the Wendy's fast food chain, himself adopted as a child, provides free adoption resources and information, funds grants for adoption programs, and lobbies for adoption-friendly workplace policies.
U.S. Department of Health & Human Services: Adoption Laws by State
Citizenship and international adoption: Q & A from The Adoption Law Firm
Grants and interest-free loans through ABBA Fund
The Adoption Institute: Research reports, publications, and blogs about numerous facets of the adoption experience. Helpful information for navigating the process; advocacy for policy development.
Foster Care Resources:
The Chaffee Foster Youth Independence Program: Funding for assistance to aging-out youth. Handled differently in different states, this program helps aging-out youth who are working or going to school as they transition to independence.
Dream Center Living: Transitional Program for Aging-Out Youth
Foster Focus - magazine devoted to the joys and challenges of foster parenting
The Annie E. Casey Foundation: Equipping communities with child welfare resources
Ezrah's Hands: This California nonprofit serves and supports kinship foster families--siblings, grandparents, etc., who take in sibling groups because they are family, often without as many financial resources as a state agency placement might have.
. . . because sometimes the most vulnerable children in need of a loving home are those not yet born.
In PE News: Many women getting abortions or recovering from them self-identify as Christians and regularly attend church. "The Abortion-Minded Woman in the Next Pew" discusses why women facing an unplanned pregnancy are not comfortable seeking help at church, and offers suggestions for opening the conversation and offering a caring environment.
Coming soon . . .
New resource page! We're currently researching and getting acquainted with a number of organizations that train churches to reach out to women in their communities with grace, love, and resources. If you or someone you know is considering an abortion because you feel you have nowhere else to turn, please know there is help; you have options. Call the Pregnancy Decision Line at 877-791-5475 to get the information you need.