This month a new organization aimed at keeping children safe and families together is officially launching in Madison. The goal is to provide support for families in order to keep children from ending up in the foster care system.
“Safe Families For Children is already at work in 15 counties of Wisconsin,” says Brit Grange, Dane County Director. “Across the state, through Safe Families, 971 children were hosted and kept out of foster care last year.”
Safe Families For Children began 20 years ago in Chicago as an effort to provide a safety net for vulnerable children. Founder and Executive Director Dave Anderson says, on the organization’s website, that he knew there was a better way of doing child welfare, by getting church fellowships involved.
“Through this movement we’re enabling the Church to return to its historic role of caring for the orphan and the widow,” he says. “Now churches of all sizes play roles in providing for the less fortunate families in their communities.” Safe Families for Children now has chapters in over 130 cities in more than 40 states as well as in Canada, the UK, and Hong Kong.
Children are at risk when there’s loss of employment, domestic violence, health problems, and other disruptions. Safe Families provides a circle of support through “radical hospitality, disruptive generosity, and intentional compassion.”
The resources provided include family coaches that walk alongside parents, host families that can host children for short periods of time, and family friends that just provide encouragement and a listening ear.
“We are faith-motivated and family-focused,” Grange said. “Volunteers are key; volunteers are professionally supported. We are currently looking for volunteers in all areas, such as Host Families, Family Coaches, Family Friends, and Resource Friends.”
A day to train and equip volunteers is coming up on Saturday, May 20, 2023 at City Church Youth Center, 4901 E. Buckeye Road. Register or get more information at: Tinyurl.com/volunteertrainingmay20.
“Since we are officially new to Dane County, we are currently looking for churches to partner with Safe Families to have it be a ministry in their church,” Grange added. “We would love to meet with people to talk about what that would look like.” Ministry partners who could financially support the work of Safe Families for Children are also being sought, and can donate here.
For more information, you can also contact DaneCounty@SafeFamiliesWi.org or look on Facebook at www.facebook.com/SafeFamiliesDaneCounty.