We recently went to an Evangelical Alliance day on Child Poverty in the UK. During the day the Home for Good campaign was launched. This is a campaign asking individuals and churches to get behind the idea of fostering and adoption. A variety of individuals got up and spoke about their experiences of either being fostered/adopted, or about being a foster/adoptive parent. All of these individuals were Christians, a couple of them church leaders. One thing that really stood out during the day were stories of rejection from within their church families. At Livability we work with a huge number of disabled individuals and the Community Mission team works with churches helping to educate and train them in how to make their churches inclusive and welcoming communities to those with disabilities. It is amazing how hard churches often find it to look beyond the issue of a ramp. To work to include people who shout out during services, who get angry, who don’t necessarily understand how to behave ‘appropriately’ and many other ‘behaviours’ which come along with many disabilities. This even comes down to ‘how do we speak to someone who has a disability?’ and prayer issues, where the assumption is made that someone in a wheelchair wants to walk. Hearing the stories of foster parents was a reminder of these issues. Where families have left churches due to a lack of support and understanding that after two years in a good home a child will not necessarily be ‘cured’ of all bad behaviours and the trauma from their past. The thing that I found most exciting about this day was the idea of challenging churches, as a whole, to get involved in fostering and adoption. In any given church there may only be one family that is called to do this personally, but if they are then it would be great to see the whole church gathering behind them. Being there to pray with them, to babysit, to be a true and genuine support over years, this is as much a calling to an entire church as to an individual. Below are the details for the Home for Good campaign. Home for Good Could you use your home for good by providing a foster placement for a child? Or could you provide a child with a home for good by adopting them into your family?
Every day over 50 children are taken into care in the UK. They are removed from chaotic, traumatic, abusive, neglectful or desperate situations. Some of them need a home in an emergency. Some of them need a temporary home until they can return to their families. Some of them need an occasional home to give their families a break. Some of them need a permanent home with a new forever family. Our churches are uniquely placed to help. We could offer all sorts of families to step forward to foster and adopt vulnerable children, and a wider supportive community. We also have our own adoption story to inspire us as we have experienced being welcomed and included into God's family and our spiritual home for good. After a period of extensive consultation the Home for Good initiative has been launched by Care for the Family, CCPAS (The Churches' Child Protection Advisory, and the Evangelical Alliance and will be launched early 2013. It aims to encourage and equip local churches to develop an intentionality about the recruitment and support of foster and adoptive families. In addition we will seek to build stronger relationships between churches and social services, and where necessary, develop services that will support Christians involved in fostering and adoption. For more information, visit www.homeforgood.org.uk Could you be a foster or adoption champion? We are currently looking people who are (or have been) involved in fostering and adoption and would be interested in championing this important issue in your church, and other churches in your area. To find out more, contact Phil (firstname.lastname@example.org)