Alternative Family Care

A Father to Tie Her Shoes: A Ugandan Pastor’s Adoption Story

In 2014, then just a baby, Andaiye* was found abandoned in a drainage ditch in Uganda’s capital city, Kampala. After she received medical treatment, it was determined she was HIV positive. She was referred to Child’s i Foundation’s Malaika Family Centre, a short-term transitional shelter for children, while social workers began searching for Andaiye’s family. Through local radio and newspaper ads, social workers with Child’s i Foundation are often successful in finding a child’s birth family, as reunification, when safe and appropriate, is the preferred option along the continuum of family care. Andaiye’s family, however, could not be located. [...]

A Father to Tie Her Shoes: A Ugandan Pastor’s Adoption Story 2017-09-21T17:23:51+00:00

5 Essential Steps for Transitioning to Family-Based Care

It has been a few months since we gathered with more than 2,000 global child welfare advocates and faith-based leaders in Nashville, Tennessee at the Christian Alliance for Orphans Summit (CAFO2017). Attendees heard from renowned speakers, shared ideas, and asked themselves, as CAFO President Jedd Medefind put it, “what does the world need most from me?” For the Faith to Action Initiative, CAFO2017 was an opportunity to build relationships, share our resources, and host family care experts in our Effective Strategies for Transitioning to Family-Based Care workshop. The workshop was facilitated by Faith to Action’s Executive Director Sarah Gesiriech, and [...]

5 Essential Steps for Transitioning to Family-Based Care 2017-10-23T15:00:27+00:00

Expanding a Vision of Care for Kenyan Children

After years of caring for vulnerable children within a residential setting, Vision Africa, a faith-based organization in Kenya, expanded their vision by adjusting their strategies to support the healthy development of children in families. Vision Africa was founded in 2001 by John and Vera Packard in response to the overwhelming needs of the children they encountered in the community as they administered a children’s home in Nairobi. Initially, they took on the management of two children’s homes from an organization that was unable to continue their administration. John and Vera’s granddaughter, Deborah Kimathi, eventually took over leadership of the organization [...]

Expanding a Vision of Care for Kenyan Children 2017-09-12T14:32:08+00:00

Identity Mission: Fostering a Continuum of Family Care Options for Honduran Children

Best practice in caring for orphaned and vulnerable children indicates the need for a continuum of care options for children currently living in—or at risk of being sent to—institutions. While a growing number of ministry leaders, practitioners, and researchers agree that children are best cared for within families, the question of what type of family placement setting looms large. One child may have living parents with whom they can reunite, while another may have no trace of a family. It is God’s inherent love for every child that compels so many to dedicate time and resources to orphans; and it [...]

Identity Mission: Fostering a Continuum of Family Care Options for Honduran Children 2017-09-29T14:59:07+00:00

CAFO Webinar on Finding Your Piece of the Foster Care Puzzle

Tomorrow, Wednesday, November 9th, Christian Alliance for Orphans (CAFO) will host a webinar entitled, "Finding Your Piece of the Foster Care Puzzle." When people think about getting involved in foster care, the first things that often come to mind are foster parenting and adoption. To be sure, these are two important pieces of the foster care puzzle. But, what are some of the other pieces and how can God use your unique gifts and experiences in some of these vital areas? This webinar is designed to help you and others in your church understand multiple pieces of the foster care [...]

CAFO Webinar on Finding Your Piece of the Foster Care Puzzle 2017-01-20T12:38:00+00:00

New Resource on Exploring the Continuum of Care

Today the Faith to Action Initiative launched our new resource on the continuum of care for children. This web-based tool will help you explore a range of care options for children who are separated, or at risk of separation, from parental care. The continuum of care interactive graphic depicts an overview of the different types of care to consider when a child is separated from family care. The colorful graphic allows you to explore each topic on the continuum of care through links to short narratives, helpful resources, and inspirational examples. Multiple pathways illustrate the uniqueness of children’s circumstances and [...]

New Resource on Exploring the Continuum of Care 2017-07-26T16:32:21+00:00

Following God’s Lead: My Journey into Family-Based Care

Journeys in life rarely take a straight path, and my journey into orphan care is no exception. Yet, God promises that if we trust in Him, he will direct our paths (Proverbs 3:5–6). In my case, God’s directing was a U-turn. In 2010, I signed up to go on a short-term mission trip to serve at an orphanage in Zambia. Five years later, I found myself in Uganda empowering local churches to support vulnerable children and their families, advocating for family-based care rather than the use of orphanages. When I signed up to serve at the orphanage in Zambia, I [...]

Following God’s Lead: My Journey into Family-Based Care 2017-07-26T16:40:34+00:00

New Report on the Links Between Education and Children’s Care

Family For Every Child recently announced the launch of their report Schools that Care, which presents the key findings of a scoping study on the links between education and children’s care. The report argues that children’s rights to education and care are inextricably linked, with a loss of adequate care commonly pushing children out of school, and education systems having the potential to help prevent unnecessary family separation, abuse and neglect. It is further argued that education systems need to adapt to better support children in different forms of alternative care. The research presented in this report was led by [...]

New Report on the Links Between Education and Children’s Care 2017-07-26T16:40:34+00:00

International Alternative Care Conference in Geneva

Faith to Action is excited to be part of the International Alternative Care Conference in Geneva, Switzerland. This is the 2016 edition of the annual conferences hosted jointly by the International Institute for the Rights of the Child (IDE) and the Centre for Children's Rights Studies at the University of Geneva (CIDE). For this “international alternative care conference”, the two hosts are partnering with several concerned international agencies that make up the Steering Group. The conference provides a bridge between research, policy and practice in the overall sphere of alternative care, and a much-needed space for discussion and exchange among [...]

International Alternative Care Conference in Geneva 2017-07-26T16:32:48+00:00

Building a Children’s Home? Ten Thoughts to Consider

In our work with Casa Viva, we have the privilege of interacting with a variety of people around the issues of children separated from their first families. We are deeply aware of our shared calling and common motivation to care for children in need. As people have come to us seeking insight on the particulars of 24/7 care, a list of reflective questions to consider has been slowly taking shape. We share them with you as a way to begin the dialogue on what is best for children when they need a safe place to sleep. These are not necessarily [...]

Building a Children’s Home? Ten Thoughts to Consider 2017-07-26T16:29:58+00:00

The Threshold Is a Sacred Space: The Casa Viva Story

The story of Casa Viva is a story of children, family, and the local church. As the founders, we can see that it stretches from our childhood summers visiting grandparents in Nebraska to our present work in Costa Rica caring for children through local families and the local church. We are well aware that our parents created homes that were safe and delightful. Our memory of family when we were children is deep and rich. Our motivation to get involved with the issues facing children and families around the world is embedded in the collective past of our strong family [...]

The Threshold Is a Sacred Space: The Casa Viva Story 2017-01-20T12:30:31+00:00

Casa Viva: Family as Sacred Space

For a child, there is no substitute for the lively discussion, the eye contact, the emotional support, and the affection that take place within families. Jill Aspegren, Co-Executive Director of Casa Viva, offers a compelling appeal to care for children who have been separated from their families: “The time has come for the local church to learn again the ancient art of hospitality—to welcome the guest in the name of Christ. Children know when they have entered the home of a real family—the threshold is a sacred space.” Prior to Casa Viva, Jill and her husband Philip codirected a children’s [...]

Casa Viva: Family as Sacred Space 2017-07-26T16:32:46+00:00

Listening Hearts. Shifting Focus. Five Tips for Hurdling Over Alternative Orphan Care Conversation Starters

Watching the Olympics, I find myself mesmerized by the skill, timing, and rhythm of the hurdlers. With ease, they keep their momentum moving forward until the finish line is in sight. But what happens when their tempo is suddenly interrupted by an injury or when another athlete unexpectedly comes into their lane? They fall down—sometimes in pain or defeat. Have you ever felt like you are stumbling over a hurdle when talking to someone about a topic that is important to you? Even if you think you know the perfect conversation starter, awkward silence, unsure words, and feeling unprepared in [...]

Listening Hearts. Shifting Focus. Five Tips for Hurdling Over Alternative Orphan Care Conversation Starters 2017-01-20T12:30:54+00:00

Foster Care in Panama: Our Journey

Growing up in the U.S. I dreamed of moving to Africa to start an orphanage. But I met and married my husband at a young age, and in 2008 we moved to Panama City, Panama, with our then three-year-old daughter. Our new Panamanian church had a volunteer program that involved holding babies and playing with children in local orphanages. When I signed up I didn’t know anything about institutionalization (what a mouthful), attachment disorder, or alternative care. It didn’t take more than a few visits to see the children were not thriving. They didn’t respond like their peers living outside [...]

Foster Care in Panama: Our Journey 2017-07-26T16:40:33+00:00

CAFO Summit May 5-6th!

The CAFO Summit has become the national hub for what Christianity Today called, “the burgeoning Christian orphan care movement.” Last year’s conference drew 2,500 foster and adoptive parents, orphan advocates, pastors and leaders from 30 countries. Faith to Action was honored to attend. Together, we explored effective foster care, adoption, family preservation and global orphan ministry. CAFO 2016 will include unforgettable plenary sessions with top national and global speakers, stirring music, workshops, and an array of one-of-a-kind experiences you won’t find anywhere else. This year, Christian Alliance for Orphans (CAFO), in partnership with the Faith to Action Initiative, is sponsoring [...]

CAFO Summit May 5-6th! 2017-07-26T16:32:47+00:00

World Without Orphans Global Forum Resources

The World Without Orphans Global Forum was held in Chiang Mai, Thailand in February. The forum brought together 450 orphan care leaders from over 60 countries for this first-ever Global Forum. Weren't able to attend in person? Not to worry! Here are some wonderful resources from the forum: Videos: Global Forum 2016 Keynote Presentations Videos: Key Steps for the Church towards a World Without Orphans Booklet: Vision for a World Without Orphans. This short booklet captures the vision, cornerstones and global strategies of the movement towards a world without orphans. Booklet: Roles for Churches. The purpose of this short booklet [...]

World Without Orphans Global Forum Resources 2016-04-21T18:02:03+00:00

Bright Hope: Providing Family Support through Church Partnership

Children grow best in families. This is true whether a child is born into great wealth or extreme poverty. However, in far too many communities around the world, it is poverty that is preventing children from growing up in the care of a family. Poverty is a driving force that pushes children into orphanages or thrusts them out into a life on the streets, creating social orphans and vulnerable children. Fortunately, local churches and faith-based NGOs around the world are partnering together and responding to the needs of these children in the best possible way: supporting families to provide for [...]

Bright Hope: Providing Family Support through Church Partnership 2017-07-26T16:40:33+00:00

Foster Care India: Redefining India’s Continuum of Care

It is perhaps human nature that we gravitate toward stories with inspiring plots and resolved endings. Those of us tirelessly advocating for vulnerable children love stories of children placed in families happily ever after. In reality, care for orphaned and vulnerable children is typically much more complex than a singular solution. As the Faith to Action Initiative explains in the document A Continuum of Care for Orphans and Vulnerable Children, “Preventing unnecessary separation, strengthening family care, and reducing placement in orphanages requires the existence of a ‘continuum’ of approaches and support services. Family-based alternatives range from reunification with the child’s [...]

Foster Care India: Redefining India’s Continuum of Care 2017-07-26T16:29:58+00:00

Family First: A Global Partnership Between Roblealto and Bethany Community Church

Roblealto Child Care Association puts families at the forefront of its work with vulnerable children in San Jose, Costa Rica. Roblealto supports a holistic approach to restore at-risk children to loving and supportive relationships with their parents and provides resources for parents to achieve self-sufficiency for their families. Roblealto’s programs include four child care centers throughout San Jose, group homes, and a youth alumni group to support and empower youth leaving their programs. Child care centers seek to prevent separation of children from their families and strengthen family support systems. They provide a quality education for children and a [...]

Family First: A Global Partnership Between Roblealto and Bethany Community Church 2017-10-06T11:14:33+00:00

Bethany Christian Services Announces New Program in Haiti

Bethany Global, a division of Bethany Christian Services (BCS), announced the launch of social services in Haiti that will serve and support foster care. Partnering with a local church in Port-Au-Prince, Bethany is currently recruiting families to undergo its rigorous foster care training program, and anticipates serving 60 children by summer 2016. In spring 2014, Bethany launched a small project in Haiti called Operation Exodus, working with vulnerable families living in the tent cities around Port-Au-Prince. This project serves to strengthen families through economic and psychosocial support. Relocation to safe housing is a priority, but so is financial sustainability, skills [...]

Bethany Christian Services Announces New Program in Haiti 2017-07-26T16:40:33+00:00
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