Best Practices Strategy

Five Lessons Learned Through Global Church Partnership

Global church partnerships are an exciting idea, but pursuing a genuinely reciprocal relationship across the world can be challenging. Pulpit Rock Church in Colorado Springs, Colorado, has been partnering with World Orphans for three years to support a local church in Leku Keta, Ethiopia in caring for the vulnerable children there—single or double orphans living with one parent or without a birth parent in an informal foster family. Local volunteers in the Leku Keta Kale Heywet Church visit these families regularly to check on the children and their family’s overall wellbeing, provide support, and recommend services. They receive “home-based” care, [...]

Five Lessons Learned Through Global Church Partnership 2017-07-26T16:40:34+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

CAFO Webinar Recap: Strategies and Resources for Transition to Family-Based Care

In the last Christian Alliance for Orphans (CAFO) webinar, Strategies and Resources for Transition to Family-Based Care, experts in advocacy, research, and hands-on experience spoke about helpful information for faith-based organizations to use as they transition from residential care to care within families. Joining the discussion were Sarah Gesiriech, Executive Director of the Faith to Action Initiative; Beth Bradford, International Child Protection Consultant with Maestral International; and Tara Garcia, Co-Founder and CEO of Identity Mission. This webinar provides practical tips and highlights free resources, including Faith to Action’s newly released Transitioning to Family Care for Children: A Guidance Manual, to assist churches, [...]

CAFO Webinar Recap: Strategies and Resources for Transition to Family-Based Care 2017-07-26T19:00:49+00:00

Noonday Collection: Strengthening Families through Fair-Trade Business

If you were to journey across the ocean to Uganda and enter a lively artisan workplace filled with the sounds of chatter and fluttering fingers rolling colorful paper beads, you would meet Olivia. Olivia’s story is not unlike those of other women in the room. Just two years ago, Olivia was a single mother unable to find consistent employment. Out of sheer desperation, she was on the brink of sending her beloved daughter Rachel to an orphanage. Herself an orphan and survivor of exploitation, Olivia felt that she had no other options that would provide Rachel with the care and [...]

Noonday Collection: Strengthening Families through Fair-Trade Business 2017-07-26T16:40:34+00:00

HOPE International: Making a Way to Respond to God’s Call to Care for the Fatherless

In southern Rwanda, Jean Marie and his wife own and operate the only restaurant in their small town. They also have a successful farm producing an abundance of crops. Their newfound financial stability has allowed the couple to support 11 orphans in addition to their own 5 children. In the Democratic Republic of Congo, a young widow named Mama Atiya has a thriving fish business that has granted her financial security, allowing her to adopt 4 orphans from her community into her family and making her the mother of 10 children. Yet just a few years ago, Jean Marie and [...]

HOPE International: Making a Way to Respond to God’s Call to Care for the Fatherless 2017-07-26T19:00:49+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

Reaching Vulnerable Teens Through Life Skills and Mentoring

When someone envisions orphan care and adoption, it is likely that images of babies and toddlers come to mind. However, across the globe, the group that most often remains overlooked and largely at risk are the adolescents who are on the verge of aging out of orphanages or foster care. These youth are at risk of never having the opportunity to experience the importance of being part of a family. For nearly 12 years my context has been the government-run orphanages of Ukraine and the former Soviet Union. Upon moving to Ukraine in 2004, I visited several large government orphanages [...]

Reaching Vulnerable Teens Through Life Skills and Mentoring 2017-07-26T16:29:57+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

Launch of New Guidelines on Children’s Reintegration

Today Family for Every Child launched the Guidelines on Children’s Reintegration, which have been endorsed by 31 organizations, including many of the largest child protection agencies in the world.  The Guidelines call for greater investment in reintegration, and advocate for it to be pursued as the primary response before other care options are considered. The Guidelines were spearheaded by an interagency group led by Family for Every Child, that was set up in 2011 and has conducted an extensive literature review and consulted with 158 children, 127 service providers and policy makers from 66 organizations across over 20 countries. Promoting [...]

Launch of New Guidelines on Children’s Reintegration 2017-07-26T16:40:34+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

CAFO Webinar on Caring for Caregivers

Tomorrow, Wednesday, July 20th, Christian Alliance for Orphans (CAFO) will continue their monthly webinar series, Knowledge + Practice. These webinars translate research into actionable information that OVC care practitioners can implement immediately to elevate the quality of the care they provide. This seventh webinar in the series is called “Caring for Caregivers: A Critical Component of Improving Child Wellbeing” from 2-3pm Eastern.  Research and common knowledge both suggest that the most influential relationship in a child's life is with his or her caregiver.  A strong caregiver relationship can limit the effects of trauma, increase a child's confidence and independence, and [...]

CAFO Webinar on Caring for Caregivers 2016-07-22T03:57:38+00:00

Gatekeeping in Thailand: Reinforcing God’s Design for Family and Protecting Children

Along the Thai-Burma border are communities fraught with poverty and filled with families struggling to survive. The communities mostly comprise people who fled Burma due to decades of violence and oppression. Their children, stateless and without citizenship or official identity, are at high risk of exploitation, chronic poverty, abuse, and human trafficking. Yet, in the midst of this brokenness is a group of people who, choosing to follow Christ’s example, enter into their neighbors’ suffering and work to bring about restoration and hope. This group is the community outreach team of Compasio, a Christian relief and development organization focused on [...]

Gatekeeping in Thailand: Reinforcing God’s Design for Family and Protecting Children 2017-07-26T17:58:54+00:00

From Vulnerability to Resilience: Promoting Graduation in OVC Programs

Sponsored by the OVC Task Force and AVSI, an event titled "From Vulnerability to Resilience: Promoting Graduation in OVC Programs" will bring together policy makers, researchers and OVC practitioners to discuss key concepts and principles related to graduation models applied to OVC programs. The two programs to be presented include the SCORE project, implemented by AVSI in Uganda, and the FXB Village Model from Rwanda. Learning about these two programs will illustrate the graduation concept, how it is being used, and generate an agenda for action and further research. This event will be a first-of-its kind occasion to discuss graduation [...]

From Vulnerability to Resilience: Promoting Graduation in OVC Programs 2017-07-26T16:32:47+00:00

No Ordinary Love Ministries: Reuniting Children and Families in Ethiopia

In 2015, 158 children were reunited with their families through the work of No Ordinary Love Ministries (NOLM). The mission of NOLM is “to bless and serve people living in extreme poverty in Ethiopia, and beyond,” and one of the ways they live this out is through reuniting separated children with their families. One such family is that of a young girl named Tesfanesh. Wanting to help support her parents, she agreed to travel from her village to the capital to find employment. After only a week in Addis Ababa, Tesfanesh ran away, unable to endure the demands of [...]

No Ordinary Love Ministries: Reuniting Children and Families in Ethiopia 2017-09-29T15:02:23+00:00

Short-Term Missions Guidance Manual and Toolkit from ACCI

Our partner ACCI International Missions & Relief recently released the publication of their Protecting Children in Short-Term Missions: A Guidance Manual and Toolkit for Churches and Christian Organizations, designed for those who are passionate about missions and engaging people through short-term mission (STM) teams, and who committed to pursuing God’s heart for children and vulnerable members of society in the context of global missions. Developed in collaboration with Better Volunteering Better Care, an initiative co-chaired by the Better Care Network and Save the Children UK, the principles explored in the manual are drawn from the Bible, best practice concepts, as [...]

Short-Term Missions Guidance Manual and Toolkit from ACCI 2017-07-27T12:34:22+00:00

Challenging Heights: Platforms for Children’s Voices to Be Heard

Jesus was quick to say, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them” (Matthew 19:14). His words were countercultural in a time and place when children’s voices were rarely heard; His words continue to provoke our thoughts and actions as we engage with children, especially those most marginalized. The Faith to Action Initiative recognizes the need to create platforms for children’s voices to be heard as one of its core guiding principles: “It is important to listen to the voices of children and families, respond to their concerns, and involve them in meaningful decisions that [...]

Challenging Heights: Platforms for Children’s Voices to Be Heard 2017-09-29T15:03:45+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

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

CAFO Webinar on Protecting Vulnerable Children with Wise and Honoring Media

Next Wednesday, March 16th, Christian Alliance for Orphans (CAFO) will launch the sixth in a  monthly webinar series, Knowledge + Practice. These webinars translate research into actionable information that OVC care practitioners can implement immediately to elevate the quality of the care they provide. This webinar is called “Protecting Vulnerable Children with Wise and Honoring Media" and will take place next Wednesday from 2-3pm Eastern.  Films and photos are a critical part of advocacy.  Oftentimes, it is through sharing stories and images of vulnerable children that we are able to inspire a heart for caring for the fatherless.  However, despite [...]

CAFO Webinar on Protecting Vulnerable Children with Wise and Honoring Media 2016-03-11T16:03:35+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
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