The Foster/Adoptive Families Partnership Mission is to raise awareness and invite involvement concerning our 13,000 Michigan children in foster care. There is a whole spectrum of ways that each of us can help make a positive difference int he life of our most invisible and vulnerable children.
The Need: Consider the 2012 tragic national statistics concerning children who age out of foster care when; they turn 18:
• 1 in 5 or more will become homeless after age 18.
• 7 of 10 women will be pregnant by their 21st birthday.
• Just half will be employed at 24.
• Fewer than 3% will earn a college degree by 25.
• 1 in 4 will be incarcerated within two years of leaving foster care (from the Jim Casey Foundation)
The Hope: We have far more caring people in our congregation and in congregations across Michigan who are making a positive difference in the lives of our children and youth in care. We can become "wrap-around families" for our parents who decide to adopt or foster and provide resources for all of our children to grow and thrive in safe, loving settings.
How can each of us make a positive difference? Here are a few ideas:
1. Pray about becoming a foster/adoptive parent or mentor or respite care giver. Talk with experienced foster and adoptive parents who can answer questions and guide your through the system. Contact the Foster Care Navigator Program at 1.855-MICHKIDS or www.fcnp.org. or the Adoption Navigators at 800-589-6273.
2. Become inspired by attending one of our Faith Communities Coalition on Foster Care meetings held in various regions. Bring one or two representatives from your congregation. See our Calendar on the Faith Communities Coalition on Foster Care web site:
3. See the new DHS video created for churches entitled “Your Faith, Their Future” which can be found on youtube at the following address: http://youtu.be/dAaE9K49vwo. Encourage other members to view this.
4. Connect with other foster and adoptive parents at First Presbyterian Church, local school or neighborhood. Get together and ask them how the congregation can help, what ideas they have about recruiting more families, and any special project they would like to see happen in your congregation.
5. Invite a speaker to come and share experiences—maybe one of your own adoptive/foster parents, a foster alumni or someone from a local child welfare agency. Contact 1-855-MICHKIDS or Rev. Kate Thoresen (248-835-8151) for suggestions.
6. Donate any of the gently used items and leave them in Room 132 (Foster Care Partnership Office):
7. PRAY REGULARLY for our kids in care. See the posters of specific children waiting for a forever family or view many on line and read their stories at the Michigan Adoption Resource Exchange web site: