Family-Based Care

Where We Belong: The Importance of Family Tracing

Every Saturday, 18 impoverished communities in and around the capital city of Uganda welcome staff and volunteers from Kids Club Kampala for games, music, Bible study, and other exciting activities. Olivia Barker White, Corrie Fraser, and Samuel Wambayo started these weekly Kids Club meetings in 2009. With an initial presence in only two communities, Kids Club Kampala spread as other neighborhoods invited the ministry to hold weekly gatherings with their children. The staff of Kids Club Kampala recruit volunteers from local churches to reach out to these communities, and both the staff and volunteers undergo extensive child protection training [...]

Where We Belong: The Importance of Family Tracing 2017-11-08T15:40:18+00:00

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

Better Together for Children and Families in Uganda

The crested crane is a symbol of pride in Uganda. It is both the national bird and the name of Uganda’s most popular sports team—the Uganda Cranes. There is, however, another organization with a national reach utilizing this symbol. CRANE, also known as the Children at Risk Action Network, is an organization based in Kampala, Uganda that utilizes the strength of networks to catalyze best practices in working with vulnerable children and families. CRANE consists of 134 churches, schools, and faith-based organizations (FBOs) that span the entire country. Members of CRANE benefit from a shared vision and support from the [...]

Better Together for Children and Families in Uganda 2017-07-26T16:40:34+00:00

The Pathway Home

Each child living on the street in Jinja, Uganda has a unique story, but many of their stories have similar themes. Broken homes, poverty, abuse, neglect, and addiction are common threads. And many of these children have something else in common—a family who loves them—and if provided with the appropriate supports, these families could welcome their children home. The passionate and well-trained staff at Jinja Connection run a day program open to children and youth who live on the street. Their goal is to walk with each child, at his or her own pace, never forcing or demanding, but encouraging [...]

The Pathway Home 2017-07-26T16:19:57+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

For Unto Us a Child is Born!

We are thankful for your support and partnership in our mission to see families empowered and supported to care for children. As we reflect on the Christmas story this year, Faith to Action is reminded of the strength and power of vulnerable children and families.  In the nativity, almighty God embodies the most vulnerable state of humanity; a newborn, wholly reliant on others for His care and protection. While contradictory to western culture, scripture continually displays God’s preference for utilizing those whom others would least expect to do great things.  From His birth to His ministry and ultimate death, Jesus displayed [...]

For Unto Us a Child is Born! 2017-09-12T14:33:05+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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Northeast Adoption & Child Welfare Summit in October!

The Northeast Adoption & Child Welfare Summit is just a little over a month away! Healing children and adolescents with adverse life experiences requires a concerted effort at many levels across multiple sectors. The Northeast Adoption & Child Welfare Summit brings together expert speakers, adoptive and foster parents, professionals, and church leaders to be trained, encouraged and build new networks that will strengthen efforts to better care for vulnerable children, adolescents, and their families. There will also be 50+ breakout sessions! By attending this summit, your community will be better prepared to care for vulnerable children and families who have [...]

Northeast Adoption & Child Welfare Summit in October! 2016-09-02T14:51:22+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
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