Develop a Foster/Adoptive Ministry That is Trauma-Informed
The Church has always been a powerful influence in families and relationships.
But is your church actively engaged in some of the most broken of families and relationships?
The foster and adoptive community desperately needs the church community. And they need the church community to understand children from hard places and the unique joys and challenges when parenting them.
Two of the most critical needs in the foster care system are needs that the church can meet. We don’t have to wait for changes in legislation or the state level. We can make a difference now.
What are two of the most critical needs for families and children?
- We need more foster families and people who support foster kids, families of origin, and foster/adoptive families. Church ministries can recruit new people to foster or be in a supporting role. This is desperately needed so that all children have a loving, healing home.
- We need foster families and people in support roles to commit for longer. About half of foster families stop fostering within the first year. Isolation and lack of support is the prominent reason families give for quitting. This is detrimental to the children living with those families. Church ministries can help retain foster families with support and understanding how kids with trauma need a different kind of parenting.
These two needs can be met right now by the Church.
How Can Fostering Hope Help Your Church and Ministry?
- FHA will help identify and build a ministry advocacy team from your church. FHA will provide this team will resources to create support teams around foster families at your church. They will also be given resources to help introduce people to the needs in foster care.
- Fostering Hope will equip you and your church to better understand and meet the complex relational needs of foster/adoptive kids and their families of origin. By doing so, ministries will be more effective and will sustain over the long-term. FHA has many tools that can be accessed through our services or we can equip the church to provide the support.
- Fostering Hope will provide consulting and customized support in building your ministry. Do you need to fill a gap or recommendations for materials or services? We can help.
Resources for Your Church
Ministry Development Worksheet
Use this guide to set a game plan for your ministry for the year ahead.
5 Areas of Need in Foster Care
Where can your church help? Read about the 5 needs.
Ministry Advocate Role Description
Read the description and commitment needed for a church ministry advocate.
Foster Family Roster
Give this pdf to foster/adoptive families at your church so you can match them with support teams.
Because churches are a place of hope and healing and our children and families desperately need this. However, traditional approaches can actually further harm a child. We want our foster families to feel included in our church, not excluded nor judged because of their parenting strategies. Many trauma-informed parenting strategies and the latest brain science supports a church’s desire to build trusting relationships and increase compassion and grace. You may even find that trauma-education supports all areas of ministry!
We want to be respectful of church authority, so it’s important to have a conversation with your pastor understanding what obstacles are standing in the way. We would be happy to help you address any concerns. But even if your leadership is not fully on board, you don’t have to have a formal foster and adoption ministry to be ministering effectively to the foster and adoptive families in your church. Just gather a few people who are interested in supporting those families more intentionally. Present opportunities to your church’s leadership team as they become available. Sometimes seeing what is happening in other churches can help stoke the fires of your home church.
One way to do this is through studying compassion. FHA has Compassion presentations we would love to share with you so you can take it back to your church. As Jesus had compassion on us and stepped into our broken story, so that our eternal destiny would change, so we can have compassion on others and step into their broken story, too.
We need financial support, but because we work with a variety of church sizes and locations, we leave it up to the church to determine what they can give. We present opportunities throughout the year: whether it is a request for drinks for AFAH Conference, or babysitting costs for an evening training, or the funding of an entire program. There is a wide variety of opportunities to support FHA.
Respite care (babysitting), assistance to transport kids to bio family visits, and grace, grace, grace from their communities.
Hear From Current Ministry Coordinators
“FHA's mission to educate, equip and empower churches to serve foster families and the children under their care has made a huge difference in the work we do with the Starry emergency shelter. We could not do what we do without the support FHA provides.”
“I knew our church needed a foster ministry but I did not know where to start. FHA’s leaders took me under their wings and encouraged and supported me. Our church just launched our new Foster Care ministry with 5 families starting training.”
“We were asked to facilitate an overhaul of the DFPS monthly Foster/Adopt Information Sessions, we immediately contacted Fostering Hope Austin. We utilized their expertise to transform the multiple documents, emails, slides and videos into a presentation that would inspire prospective families to take the next step.”