Transition to 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 2017-09-12T14:40:16+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

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

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 2017-07-26T16:29:58+00:00

NEW RESOURCE: Transitioning to Family Care for Children: A Guidance Manual

The Faith to Action Initiative is excited to announce the launch of the much-anticipated Transitioning to Family Care for Children: A Guidance Manual. Just in time for Orphan Sunday on November 13, this manual provides practical guidance and tools for churches, faith-based organizations, donors, and others who are transitioning care for children away from residential care to care within families. This resource is aligned with biblical principles, a strong evidence base, and a growing movement within the Church that affirms the importance of family in every child’s life. The Guidance Manual provides an overview of the key concepts and steps [...]

NEW RESOURCE: Transitioning to Family Care for Children: A Guidance Manual 2017-07-26T16:29:58+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

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

Heaven’s Family: A Story of Donor Transformation

“I’d rather work in the fields of my village with my own family than live in an orphanage,” explained a Burmese girl to Philip Barker, Director of Heaven’s Family UK. She was the very first child Philip met in Myanmar (Burma) eight years ago when he visited orphanages as a child sponsor through the organization’s Orphan’s Tear Ministry. Her sentiment—along with the ever-expanding body of research on family-based care—is what compelled Heaven’s Family to radically change their approach to caring for vulnerable children. Heaven’s Family, a Christian missions organization with offices in the United States and the United Kingdom, is [...]

Heaven’s Family: A Story of Donor Transformation 2017-07-26T17:58:37+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

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 her [...]

No Ordinary Love Ministries: Reuniting Children and Families in Ethiopia 2017-07-26T17:59:27+00:00

Two Stories of Transforming Good Intentions into Best Practices

“Be brave, be fierce, be visionary. Mend the parts of the world that are within your reach. To live this way is the most dramatic gift you can ever give to the world. Consider yourselves assigned.”  ~Your Assignment by Clarissa Pinkola Estes Even without reading her words, many impassioned young people have taken the poet’s assignment to heart. When these individuals are confronted with the brokenness of the world, seldom are they content to ignore it. There comes a deep desire to restore what is broken. For many, Christians in particular, this desire is manifested in a calling to care for [...]

Two Stories of Transforming Good Intentions into Best Practices 2017-07-26T20:17:44+00:00

Continuum of Care Resources Now Available!

Faith to Action is excited to announce the launch of three new resources on the continuum of care. The continuum of care provides an overview of a range of alternative care options for children who have been separated from parental care. In keeping with research and evidence-based guidance on the importance of family in the life of a child, the continuum places a high priority on family care while also recognizing the role that temporary residential care and small group homes can play in the spectrum of options to meet individual situations and needs. The continuum of care highlights the [...]

Continuum of Care Resources Now Available! 2017-07-26T16:31:01+00:00

Reducing Stigma: Retrak’s Model of Reunifying Street Children With Families

For any child longing to be reunited with his or her family, the emotional and psychological hurdles can be enormous. This is particularly true for children being reintegrated with their families and communities after living on the streets—due to a range of issues, including family breakdown, death of a parent, and poverty. Street children, in some ways, live their lives in the shadows. They are often forced into unpaid labor positions or a lifestyle of begging. Yet despite the aspects of life that are largely unseen, the stigma attached to a child who has lived on the streets can be [...]

Reducing Stigma: Retrak’s Model of Reunifying Street Children With Families 2017-07-26T16:40:32+00:00

Webinar on Transition to Family-Based Care

Next Wednesday, July 22nd, Christian Alliance for Orphans (CAFO) will be hosting a webinar related to their "Replicable Models of Transition to Family-Based Care," project. Leaders from Buckner International, ACCIR, and the Akola Project, and will join CAFO President Jedd Medefind and answer audience questions, in addition to presenting on their own experiences. The Faith to Action Initiative is hopeful that many organizations and churches will join the webinar and be inspired to make steps toward engaging in and supporting family-based care. The webinar is scheduled for 2-3:30pm EDT. Register for free today! If you're not able to join the [...]

Webinar on Transition to Family-Based Care 2017-07-26T16:40:32+00:00

The Long Road Back: Transitioning to Family Care in Rwanda

In Rwanda, an estimated 860,000 children and young people have lost one or both parents from the 1994 genocide, HIV and AIDS, or poverty. The strain that this has placed on families is overwhelming. In 2012 there were 3,300 children living in 33 institutions, commonly known as orphanages, across the country. Hope and Homes for Children (HHC), an organization working to place vulnerable children in family-based care and prevent institutional care for children, is partnering with the Rwandan government, UNICEF, and other partners to transition children out of all 33 institutions and into loving, stable, safe families. As of December [...]

The Long Road Back: Transitioning to Family Care in Rwanda 2017-02-24T19:03:25+00:00

Project RED: Empowering Families for Abundant Lives

El Salvador is the most densely populated country in Latin America and has the unfortunate standing as one of the world’s most violent countries. With this reality comes widespread poverty and a breakdown of the family structure across society. Publicly funded programs and an adequate protection system to ensure the wellbeing of children simply do not exist. In 2009, upheaval once again become a reality for orphans living in institutions, with the introduction of a new law called Law for Integral Child and Adolescent Protection (LEPINA), which is drawn from the UN Convention of the Rights of the Child. An [...]

Project RED: Empowering Families for Abundant Lives 2017-05-09T14:14:33+00:00

Children in Families: A Community Approach to Reintegration

Everyone in Kampong knows Sopheat* — his mischievous laugh, his lively personality, his story. Sopheat was among the very first children to be placed with a foster family in Kampong, a Cambodian village of sweeping rice paddies and swaying sugar palm trees. Sopheat’s street is now home to several other children living with foster families, and over the past few years their village has welcomed 35 children previously living in vulnerable situations. Children in Families (CIF) is a Christian organization in Cambodia working to reintegrate at-risk children into families. Many of these children live in orphanages after being abandoned or [...]

Children in Families: A Community Approach to Reintegration 2017-07-26T16:31:01+00:00

HelpKids Centre: Supporting the Love of Families in Sri Lanka

Family-based, alternative care for orphans and vulnerable children is on the rise in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Alison Atkinson and her husband Narel joined Australian Christian Churches International Relief (ACCI) 10 years ago, as field workers in Colombo. They established the HelpKids Centre, a local, community-based organization that strengthens local families living in slums and severe poverty. It functions as a community center, providing early childhood education, daycare support, counseling for parents, and medical assistance, supports women in accessing vocational training, and coordinates women’s and children’s clubs. The Atkinson’s approach to care for vulnerable children has changed over the years. After [...]

HelpKids Centre: Supporting the Love of Families in Sri Lanka 2017-07-26T16:40:31+00:00
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