By FaithBridge Foster Care
As you explore strategic relationships with local foster care agencies, there are several factors to consider to ensure that the partnership is mutually beneficial and fits the goals of your church’s foster care ministry. Use these 10 key characteristics as a guide to evaluate potential partners.
- A biblical statement of beliefs
All foster parents and staff agree with and live by a biblical statement of beliefs. They are all Christians, and Jesus Christ is at the core of everything they do.
- Partnerships with churches in your community
The organization has a history of coming alongside churches to build, strengthen and expand their ministries to children in foster care.
- Guidance in the licensing process
A staff member, backed by a team of professionals, provides encouragement, answers questions and prays with applicants while they are becoming foster parents. The agency efficiently guides prospective parents through the licensing process.
- Dedicated case managers
A dedicated professional offers ongoing support, counsel, spiritual guidance, prayer and in-home training for foster families and understands the strengths of each family when placing children.
- Continual encouragement, equipping, support and prayer for foster families
The agency checks in with foster parents regularly to find out how they can support them. Such support could include respite care, meals, transportation or prayers. Ongoing trainings from qualified child welfare professionals cover relevant topics like foster parenting through the lens of the gospel and trauma-informed care.
- Coordination with state agencies
When it comes to working with the courts and child welfare offices, the agency has the expertise, respect and relationships in place to take some of the load off of the foster parents. This frees foster parents to spend more time caring for the children and less time on administrative tasks.
- Priority for reunification and biological family support
The agency supports adoption from foster care when necessary, but it believes the primary goal is for birth families to be restored and healed whenever possible.
- Experts who understand the complexity of the foster care system
The agency hires staff with many years of experience successfully navigating the foster care system. This includes having strong understanding of the role and responsibilities of people in the state agencies and juvenile court system.
- A proven track record of positive outcomes
The organization can show the impact their work has had on the children and families they serve. If applicable, the agency can show they have positive ratings on state audits and performance measures.
- Advocacy for future improvement in policy
Leadership can speak to macro issues that are happening in their state. They actively participate in legislative efforts and influence policy to improve outcomes for children in foster care.
FaithBridge Foster Care is Georgia’s largest Christ-centered Child Placement Agency (CPA). They recruit, train, and support foster care families in local churches and license them to provide community-based, short- and long-term care for foster children in Georgia. FaithBridge Foster Care’s vision is for every foster child to experience the hope, healing, and unconditional love of Jesus Christ and their mission is to mobilize, organize, and equip local churches to solve their community’s foster care crisis.
They pioneered the Community of Care® model which is designed to surround every foster family with a network of trained volunteers and professionals providing the support they need to provide safe and stable homes for foster children. Each family is also paired with a FaithBridge Foster Family Consultant who will walk through the journey of foster care with each parent.
FaithBridge Foster Families, NEVER foster alone! The model has become the national standard for church-based foster care. Since 2007, FaithBridge has served more than 1,200 children in foster care through partnering with 73 churches.
For more information, please visit faithbridgefostercare.org or follow us on Facebook (facebook.com/faithbridge) or Twitter (@FaithBridgeGrp)
Published August 15, 2018