Week 2: More Than Enough What? Part 1

More Than Enough Essentials Cohort 4: (Wednesday 10:30am) Week 2: More Than Enough What? Part 1

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    • #68743
      amanda@cafo.org
      CAFO Staff

      Do you believe that more than enough foster, kinship, adoptive families and help for biological families is possible in the county where you live.  Why or why not?

    • #69091
      Joshua Horn
      Participant

      I believe there could be more than enough… but it’s going to be a long journey.

      Looking over the numbers from some of the resource sites shared this week, it looks like there are more churches in my county than kids in foster care at any given time. So mathematically speaking, the potential is there to have more than enough foster and adoptive families. It’s harder for me to have a vision for more than enough kinship families and more than enough help for biological families, though.

      Our county is very strict on the separation between outside organizations and our county DHS (DHS runs our foster care system – we don’t have any organizations or non-profits that handle any part of the foster care process). Outside organizations can play a role in helping children as resources for specific services (mental health, life skills training, trauma therapy, etc), but those are referred by the county. It’s going to take time and some intentional relationship building to get to a place where local churches or non-profits can be seen as valuable resources to make any kind of impact.

    • #69092
      Nathan Renfree
      Participant

      Joshua – our county is similar. We have Child Protective Services, and they work with a couple of non-profits that are in charge of placing foster kids, but both organizations are fairly disjointed and I think it would take some – as you put it well – intentional relationship building to get the churches involved and in a place where they can work with these organizations.

    • #69093
      Nathan Renfree
      Participant

      I believe in my county that it is possible to establish more than enough in the areas mentioned in the question. I live in a rural county made up of several small towns, and I think most of the placements for foster kids we or other foster families we get calls for are from neighboring counties. And I suppose that opens up its own challenges identifying and working across multiple counties. CPS is the overseeing agency, but between counties are different non-profits serving similar missions to find foster families and place foster kids, as well as do most of the training for foster families. And there are still more agencies offering various resources (such as what Joshua mentioned). But I see very little involvement in foster care from any church outside of knowing foster families that attend church, and maybe a shoutout by a church or two to the foster care need on Orphan Sunday. From just these first couple of weeks of readings from this course it’s evident how impactful and necessary the church is in this process to be the central, embodying hub that surrounds all foster-related families (foster, kinship, bio) with the support and resources they need. That’s where the real lack is in my county I think. The resources and time from all the various agencies don’t really, holistically, look at how to support the whole problem (including good support to bio families). Things are currently more of a bandaid approach.

      So yes, I do believe that based on the numbers for my area it’s a hard climb, but possible and doable.

    • #69271
      Angela
      Participant

      Short answer no, because if there was I wouldn’t be seeking out this class. In NC there are almost 7000 licensed foster homes and 7000 plus the kinship providers should be close to being almost enough. But I know almost half of them are inactive because the state licensing office shares the statistic with us at every quarterly partnership meeting. I believe there are a lot of reasons for foster families leaving but many of them fall under the frustration with the system they are a part of and the overwhelming feeling like they are alone on an island being constantly hit with big and small waves. As a representative for a private child welfare organization, I know that the state systems don’t like to look outside of their agency for support for foster families, kinship providers, and biological families especially smaller counties because so much of their budget comes from numbers. How many families THEY can license. How many children THEY can place. The truth is looking outside of their agency for support is detrimental to their funding. They place children in homes that are unlicensed with quick or no training at all and overcapacity because it’s easier, and these placements fail.

      No area has enough resources for biological families and the ones we have are subpar for what we need them to provide. Case plans should not be a check list of what we have available and free (since many biological families in NC lose medicaid when they lose custody of their children). It should be able to be individualized to the parent and what they need. It should be designed to combat generations of trauma since many of our families were once children in care themselves.

      I pray for a day that we have more than enough of these families. This will allow children to have a voice in the home they are going to. It will allow adoptive families to do the waiting vs the children waiting to be adopted.

    • #69273
      Michael Kimbro
      Participant

      The big picture answer is yes.  We have a God who is big enough  to supply more than enough.  We have more than enough churches and Christians that could meet the need in my area.  But the only way to meet the need is through the church  as the Government resources in my area (and I suspect in most areas) are inadequate and lack passion  for the mission.

    • #69274
      Raquel Razien
      Participant

      I think that it is possible to have more than enough in my county. I live in a rural area where the churches are already a huge piece of the social service network. Our churches, government organizations and non-profits already work pretty well together. Over the last three years, I have seen more churches get involved in the foster care space. My agency has worked hard as a faith based foster care agency to educate the church on the need and to help them find places to get involved. Again, we have had a lot of foster care activity. What I am hoping from this class is some tangible steps to take our community from activity to movement. I believe that we have several strong churches who can help lead this movement. I am excited for what God has in store for our little community!

    • #69275
      Kimberly Miller
      Participant

      So many of my thoughts are already cited above, but here are a few to add.  My general answer is a hopeful yes!

      With foster families, I feel the answer lies in support.  But the support must be significant and sustainable throughout their entire journey.  In our community, foster families have very little respect from the system.   They are intentionally left out of the process and this mentality needs to change.

      With adoptive families, I believe this will improve when the average age of the children waiting for adoption is lower.  As said in our reading, this starts with quality foster homes leading to fewer disruptions in placement and behaviors associated with the instability.

      With kinship families, I believe its the same issue as foster families.  If more support is made readily available to them at the onset, more will be willing to engage.

      As for biological families, I have recently seen a lot more attention and resources toward preventative measures.  Assuming this trend continues, I have hope that many of these families will not reach the point of removal.

       

       

       

       

    • #69277
      Anna Thomas
      Participant

      I absolutely believe that there can be more than enough in the county where I live. I believe that people are willing but they are scared and do know have all the information and knowledge about what it really looks like. Not every person or family is called to foster, but every single person can do something.

    • #69287
      Kim Eylar-Sanchez
      Participant

      Yes, I do believe that more than enough foster, kinship, and adoption families and help for biological families is possible in my county. We are considered the bible belt of East Texas, and if the churches could educate and rally the congregations, it would make a significant impact. Also, if we could get more media involvement, and then the need could be made more known to the community. I think also making it more convenient on parents to get licensed as far as the training schedules. I think right now we are seeing a shortage due to the lack of focus on the issue community wide, but as you can see with the BLM and the Covid messaging- things can really change with the focus and outreach of message.

    • #69292
      Kaylee Newbold
      Participant

      Our region in Texas has the highest number of removals for the whole state. We also have an amazing group called one heart who brings all of the churches together to help. It could be possible to have more than enough homes for all of the children in care we just need to figure out how to get them! Kinship homes have my heart and I think our state is finally doing a good job at giving them the support they need!

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