Monday, May 21, 2012

Foster Care Month Opportunities

Jami Kaeb

I wish you all could have been at our Foster Care Month event last night, where Jami Kaeb from The Forgotten Initiative inspired and encouraged us to bring joy and purpose to the foster care community.  A special thanks to those of you who brought donated items for the DCFS resource closet! 

There are so many ways we can be a blessing to children, families and foster care workers.  Below are just some of the ways YOU could get involved.  Please prayerfully consider each of these opportunities.
But first, if you are considering becoming a Safe Family or have started the process and still need to do the training, we want to make you aware that there is a one-day accelerated training to become a Safe Families host.  The training is scheduled for June 9th, 2012 at Moody Church.  You may R.S.V.P. by May 27 at or contact Tom Csora at
Also, if you live in the Bartlett area, please consider stopping by the garage sale of one of our Safe Families.  They've been wanting to host more kids, but have been prevented from doing so due to space issues.  That's when they decided to clean out and sell the clutter and use the proceeds from the garage sale to remodel a room in their home where they can host more Safe Families children.  The sale will take place this Thursday and Friday, May 24 & 25th from 9:00 - 4:30 and Saturday, May 26th from 9:00 - 12:00 noon.  Their home is at 221 North Oak Street in Bartlett, across from the fire station. 

Next Steps/OpportunitiesJoin the Prayer Team:  We are looking to form a prayer team for the Vulnerable Children’s ministry.  If you would like to lead or participate on a prayer team, please contact Dina at
Pray:  You, your family or your small group can pray for families, children, foster care workers and the church.  Download a free prayer guide at or visit
Attend our Pot-Luck Gatherings:  Join adoptive, foster and Safe families, as well as advocates, every 3rd Sunday of the month (except June/July/Dec.).  You’ll enjoy connecting with others over a pot-luck meal, and hearing relevant speakers that can help to equip and inspire you to serve vulnerable children. Contact Dina at
Become a Licensed Foster Parent:  The 9-week required pre-service P.R.I.D.E. training class is held regularly right here at Willow Creek/So. Barrington.  Contact: Joyce Moffitt at
Become a Safe Family Host: Provide short-term care for children whose families are in crisis.  Contact: Teri Altpeter at and visit  
Help with Donation Drives:  Assist in the procurement of donations for the Elgin DCFS resource closet. We need small groups, civic organizations and families to collect needed items to restock the shelves each month.  Contact: Brooke Loske at
Host a Foster/Safe Family Coffee:  Open your home to invite foster parents and Safe Family Hosts to enjoy coffee and connection time.  Contact: Teri Altpeter at
Wrap Around A Family:  Provide meals, lawn care, snow removal, babysitting, homework assistance and other logistical needs to a foster, adoptive or Safe family.  Contact Dina at
Join  Safe Families/Lydia House has created a database where you can share your services or material resources with families that are experiencing a crisis, usually within the context of poverty. 
Serve with Royal Family Kids Camp (RFKC): Volunteer a week of your time in June at a camp for abused and neglected children in foster care.  Contact: Bart Francour at and visit

“Adopt” a College Student: The D.C.F.S. College Connections Care Package Program (CCCPP) is designed to support new college students entering their freshman year by linking them to a volunteer who will offer encouragement through mailing care packages and also the possibility of establishing a mentoring relationship.  You must have a foster care license to volunteer for this program.  Contact Holly Bitner Duck at

Become a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA.): CASA volunteers are appointed by judges to watch over and advocate for abused and neglected children, to make sure they don’t get lost in the overburdened legal and social service system or languish in inappropriate group or foster homes. Training is provided by CASA.

Become a Forgotten Advocate: Work with The Forgotten Initiative to facilitate on-going, long term relationships between local agencies and the Body of Christ.  Contact: Jessi  Esterling at  and visit

Read A Book:
Growing Up Black in White by Kevin D. Hofmann
Somebody’s Someone: A Memoir by Regina Louise
Castaway Kid: One Man’s Search for Hope and Home by R.B. Mitchell

Get Educated from the following resources:
Foster Care & Adoption Listings & Resources:
Foster Care Information by State:
Foster Care Web Sites by State:
Foster Care Specialists by State:
Heart Gallery Listings by State:
Waiting Children Statistics by State:                       
Wednesday’s Child:

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