If any of you follow the work of City Without Orphans, you know that we believe every child belongs in a family. This is one of our most foundational and deeply held convictions. We make t-shirts that say, “every child deserves a place to call home” and “He sets the lonely in families…”. Statistically, biblically and experientially we know this is what's best for kids.
This isn't just a cute slogan we can wear on a shirt or share on facebook- this is a truth we must actively pray and work for until it becomes reality. And the need is not just for the “waiting 5 year old” in foster care, it's also for the teenager who has spent 4 years in group homes. Last Fall a bill came out (AB403) that says starting January 1st, 2017 our state will phase out the long term institutional care of group homes to make them short term stabilization centers with the goal of transitioning every youth into a foster family or permanent home.
That’s right…we are going to see a massive need for families to step up and bring older youth into their home. It sounds great in theory but we know there is a challenging road ahead. It would be easier if bills like these also came with a strategic plan for each county, a comprehensive marketing effort to rally the community around the cause and robust programs that will provide more support for caregivers.
Guess what…there is a plan and resources. It’s you…
You Fresno. You Central Valley. You have all the resources to help make this happen. We each have a part to play! CWO and many foster/adoption agencies will be sharing more specifics over the next 6 months about how you can leverage your gifts, treasures and time to help this effort. We are going to do our best to stand in the gap for these youth who, by no fault of their own, came into foster care, are struggling and need consistent love, support and services. Now is the time to serious pray and contemplate how you can get involved. Are you ready to become mentors for them? Foster Parent? Adoptive moms and dads? Employers and coaches?
They need you. We need you.
Stay tuned for more…