Under the most ideal circumstances, parenting can be a difficult journey. When job loss, serious illness homelessness, or other concerning issues complicate the act of parenting, families need help. Safe Families for Children Central Oregon strives to provide that help.
Many families have friends or relatives who offer support in crisis. For those who lack that safety net, Safe Families for Children mobilizes and equips church communities to provide support for families in need.
When a family requires help from Safe Families for Children, parents retain custody and voluntarily arrange for their child(ren) to stay with a Host Family. Parents can then work to secure stability for their family. In addition to the Host Family, Safe Families for Children involves Family Coaches and Family Friends, who provide support to the parents and the Host Family.
This is a very tangible way to reverse a downward cycle. The church’s role is to locate Host Families, Family Coaches, and Family Friends within the congregation, and to provide ongoing training to those involved.
The role of J Bar J Youth Services as the nonprofit partner is to evaluate volunteers, complete background checks, conduct home assessments, make determinations of hosting arrangements between families and Host Families, and to provide training, education and support to the volunteers and churches involved. These tasks are funded by financial and non-financial gifts to the church and/or to J Bar J Youth Services, as well as churches who commit to making Safe Families for Children a ministry in their church.
Host Families care for children and build a relationship with parents while the parents get back on their feet.This is a positive way to prevent isolation and to strengthen families. Safe Families for Children provides volunteers to help families in crisis before issues get out of hand and require mandated intervention.
Founded by David Anderson of LYDIA Home Association in Chicago, Safe Families for Children was launched as a response to a need he saw in his community. The program spread and 54 active sites across the nation partner with child welfare agencies and local church ministries.