We are excited to tell you about an opportunity to get involved in our community through a ministry called Safe Families for Children. Safe Families is a volunteer ministry that exists to provide biblical hospitality, love, and support to families in crisis, largely through providing parents with safe places for their children to stay while they work to resolve whatever crises that they are experiencing, such as unemployment, homelessness, or financial difficulty. This ministry equips churches like ours to create support networks for desperate people in our community who have no one to turn to in times of crisis. They do this through creating teams of people to come alongside of these families in various roles. This is one of the really neat things about Safe Families - that there are many ways to be involved.
- Host families are those families who, after being screened and approved, volunteer to provide a safe place for children to stay while their parents work to resolve their crisis. Placements with these children could range anywhere from a few days to a few months, though most placements average around 3-4 weeks.
- Family friends provide support to placing parents - in the form of transportation, mentoring, etc - and also to host families, perhaps by bringing meals or babysitting or helping with transportation needs.
- Resource friends help with providing material support to placing parents - perhaps helping them line up furniture for a newly rented apartment or clothes for a job interview or finding a vehicle in their price range that actually runs.
- Family coaches are trained volunteers that help to provide resources and casework-like services to placing parents. They also serve as a liaison between placing parents and host families.
We want to see Sovereign Grace Church grow in serving those who need our care in this community, and we would particularly desire to see our church develop a team of families and individuals who are ready to step in when these situations arise. Because right now, there's a single mom who needs a job who doesn't know what to do with her 2 and 4 year olds while she looks for work. There's a mom who knows that she needs to get help for her addictions, but who has no idea who would take care of her children while she's gone for treatment. There's a woman who has finally gathered her courage to leave an abusive situation, but who will have no one to support her after she does. Because there's a woman who is unexpectedly pregnant, who desperately loves and wants her baby, but who has no clue how she's going to be able to parent. In many ways, the work that Safe Families does is a next logical step in our commitment to being a people who are pro-life - providing care and help to vulnerable mothers and children in our community.
This is a very brief introduction to what Safe Families does, and if you are interested in learning more about this ministry and whether you might have a role to play in it, please plan to stay after church on June 11 for a short informational meeting, or you can talk to either of us or Travis and Joy Sasser or Ken and Carol Auer.
If you already know that this is something you want to be involved with, you can also mark your calendars for a training session on June 17 where we will be gathering to watch the required training videos, share lunch, and talk through our thoughts and ideas for seeing this ministry become part of the life of our church.