Alternative Family Care

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 Partnership2020-03-30T13:20:22-04:00

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 Care2020-03-30T13:17:02-04:00

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 wide [...]

Family First: A Global Partnership Between Roblealto and Bethany Community Church2020-03-30T13:14:59-04:00

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, [...]

Bethany Christian Services Announces New Program in Haiti2021-06-16T19:14:57-04:00

CAFO Webinar on Empowering Caregivers

This Wednesday, January 13th, Christian Alliance for Orphans (CAFO) will launch the fourth 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 “Empowering Caregivers: Practical Parenting Training (Adolescent Edition)" and will take place on Wednesday from 11am – 12pm 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 [...]

CAFO Webinar on Empowering Caregivers2020-03-30T12:57:24-04:00

One Step at a Time Toward a World Without Orphans

A World Without Orphans—it’s a huge dream that lives in the hearts of thousands of people who believe that every orphan should live in a loving family and work toward this great goal daily. I sincerely believe in it too. And I know that the church is capable of solving this problem through welcoming the fatherless and motherless into their homes and working with crisis families. Although the idea of a church caring for every orphan (we like to call it one church, one child) is simple and clear, it’s not so easy to make it a reality. Behind each [...]

One Step at a Time Toward a World Without Orphans2020-05-05T10:54:24-04:00

Putting the Lonely in Families: The Journey of SFAC

The transformation of a child who is reintegrated into a family is always worthy of praise and thanksgiving. Yet few things are as noteworthy as the hundreds of children’s lives impacted by an adult or adults who decisively recognize that God puts the lonely in families (Psalm 68:6). Meet Mick Pease. Mick is the Director of SFAC (Substitute Families for Abandoned Children), a UK-based Christian organization that advocates for improved services for orphaned and abandoned children, with an emphasis on alternative options to residential care. SFAC provides training for nonprofit and faith-based organizations, social workers, volunteers, and substitute families around [...]

Putting the Lonely in Families: The Journey of SFAC2020-05-05T01:05:31-04:00

CAFO Webinar on How to Be a Welcoming Church for Special Needs Foster & Adoptive Families

Today, November 18th from 2-3pm EST, Christian Alliance for Orphans (CAFO) will host a webinar on helping welcome and support special needs foster and adoptive families. As special needs and older child programs are on the rise, this means churches need to be prepared to accommodate families affected by disability or complex trauma. Shannon Dingle will share five ways your church can be a safe place for these children and teens, drawing from experience as a special educator, a disability ministry leader, and a mom to six by birth and adoption. You can register for this webinar here. [...]

CAFO Webinar on How to Be a Welcoming Church for Special Needs Foster & Adoptive Families2020-05-05T01:04:00-04:00

La Providencia: A Lifelong Commitment to Care

Anthony’s* feet swung from the chair, hardly touching the floor. He was eager to talk and happily answered the government-appointed psychiatrist’s questions, unmindful that he was being evaluated. She asked him to draw a picture of where he lived and who lived with him. He drew a picture of his house with a mom and a dad and himself along with six children. The fact that the government considered him an “orphan” wasn’t apparent to him. In his mind, he had a family that loved him and his picture expressed that. This young boy was describing his home at [...]

La Providencia: A Lifelong Commitment to Care2021-01-12T16:15:32-05:00

CAFO Webinar on Gatekeeping

This Wednesday, Christian Alliance for Orphans (CAFO) will launch the second in a new 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. October's webinar focused on child protection policy. You can view this webinar here. The second webinar is called “Gatekeeping: Reducing Unnecessary Entry Into Alternative Care"  and will take place on Wednesday, November 4th from 2 PM – 3 PM EST. Dr. Delia Pop of Hope and Homes for Children will explore effective methods for identifying families at [...]

CAFO Webinar on Gatekeeping2020-05-05T11:31:53-04:00

Fostering Hope in Guatemala

In Guatemala, when a child becomes an orphan, is a victim of abuse or exploitation, or is separated from family-based care, the primary response, historically, has been to place that child in a residential care facility. In 2013, UNICEF reported that 5,800 Guatemalan children were living in orphanages with large disparities of caregivers and children. Unfortunately, research shows that there are long-term, and sometimes permanent, negative effects institutional care can have on a child physically, emotionally, cognitively, and socially. Buckner International, a Christian organization working with orphans, vulnerable children, and families, is helping to change those prospects for many children [...]

Fostering Hope in Guatemala2021-06-16T18:33:17-04:00

Fuller Theological Seminary: Equipping Students in Family-Based Care

Fuller Theological Seminary is helping students thoughtfully understand and support evidence-based practices in action as practitioners. Thought leaders around the country at centers of learning like the School of Intercultural Studies at Fuller, work to mold the experienced, as well as the inexperienced, into practitioners who go into the world to implement orphan care practices that align with the best interests of children.Fuller Theological Seminary’s Dr. David Scott, Assistant Professor of Intercultural Studies and Children at Risk, and Dr. Sheryl Ryan, Adjunct Faculty in the School of Intercultural Studies, are two leaders helping students understand the importance of family as [...]

Fuller Theological Seminary: Equipping Students in Family-Based Care2020-05-05T11:22:15-04:00

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 [...]

Continuum of Care Resources Now Available!2020-05-05T11:15:15-04:00

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 [...]

Children in Families: A Community Approach to Reintegration2020-05-05T12:42:34-04:00

My Most Important Lesson as an Adoptive Mother

Mother’s Day is a fun celebration in my home. We go to church in the morning and then spend the afternoon taking a local hike as a family. If we have any energy left, we end the day with a trip to our local garden center, where I pick one last tomato plant to put in the garden before summer arrives. It’s a fun day, but for my family it’s also underscored by pain. As an adoptive family, we never forget that the creation of our family is predicated on loss. Before I met my daughters, I learned about [...]

My Most Important Lesson as an Adoptive Mother2020-05-05T11:52:09-04:00

OVC Resources for you!

Faith to Action is excited to share a great resource with our networks. Since the relaunch of in July of last year, there has been a rejuvenated sense of collaboration and sharing of additional resources produced by the OVC community. OVCsupport has been hard at work in their mission to make as much of it as possible easily accessible through their What’s new? blog, featuring articles, announcements, and their expanded news of the week feature, as well as through our ever-growing resource database. Sign up for the OVCsupport bulletin in order to bring some of the highlights directly [...]

OVC Resources for you!2021-01-12T16:01:50-05:00

Out of Isolation and Into Families

In Armenia there are around 4,500 children living in residential institutions, a situation caused by the weak social protection system, an insufficient number of community-based services and lack of gate-keeping mechanisms due to overall weakness and inefficiency of the system, leftover from the Soviet Union. In the last decade, the Government of Armenia (GoA) initiated the process of reorganization of residential institutions for children and began making significant investments in the development of social services and program alternatives to residential care. However, Armenia faces multiple difficulties in sustaining various initiatives and programs, and the NGO sector and UN agencies remain [...]

Out of Isolation and Into Families2021-01-12T16:01:11-05:00

Pioneering Foster Care in Peru

In May 2007, Buckner Peru and Peru's National Comprehensive Family Welfare Program (INABIF) signed an agreement to develop a foster care program. On March 10, 2008, Buckner Peru made history when officials from the Ministry of Women and Social Development and Buckner placed eight Peruvian children into the country’s first foster families. Prior to this significant event, there was no foster care in Peru. Nearly seven years later, children are thriving in families in ways that would have been unknown to them without the foster care option. Their foster care/kinship care model utilizes extended family members to care for [...]

Pioneering Foster Care in Peru2020-05-05T13:43:15-04:00

Bopoma Villages: Strengthening Rural Zimbabwean Communities

Bopoma Villages is a faith-based organization providing clean water, food security, and orphan care in Zimbabwe. Strengthening a community strengthens families within it, and this organization is able to provide direct and indirect care for orphans and vulnerable children within their communities and families. Bopoma Villages works in 10 villages in or just outside of Zaka, a rural area of Zimbabwe. Unemployment in this area is estimated to be over 80%. Many children and families lack the most basic necessities and live in severe deprivation. Child-headed households and those headed by elderly grandmothers are common. Bopoma Villages works in [...]

Bopoma Villages: Strengthening Rural Zimbabwean Communities2020-05-05T13:38:39-04:00

Promoting Family Life, Not Orphanages

Today marks 5 years since the devastating earthquake in Haiti. The earthquake left much of the capital and surrounding area in ruins in one of the worst natural disasters of modern times. Although the government said more than 300,000 people were killed, the exact toll is unknown because there was no systematic effort to count bodies amid the chaos and destruction. In the midst of the chaos, families were separated and children orphaned. Following the earthquake, teams poured in from around the world to try to help respond, making it one of the most complicated emergency responses to date, according [...]

Promoting Family Life, Not Orphanages2020-05-05T13:36:54-04:00