Family-Based Care

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 Mentoring2019-05-15T16:31:41-05:00

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 Care2019-05-15T16:35:15-05:00

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 Geneva2019-05-15T16:43:48-05:00

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 Story2019-05-15T16:47:57-05:00

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 Reintegration2019-05-15T16:49:55-05:00

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 Space2019-05-15T16:53:22-05:00

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!2019-05-15T16:57:19-05:00

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 Starters2019-05-15T16:59:58-05:00

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 Transformation2019-05-15T17:03:49-05:00

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 Journey2019-05-15T17:07:03-05:00

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 Caregivers2019-05-15T17:08:04-05:00

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 Children2019-05-15T17:10:45-05:00

Potter’s House: Transformation Through Livelihood Strengthening

In the garbage dumps of Guatemala, children are born and raised in an environment that can impede human flourishing. They grow up in the middle of society’s waste, which makes it difficult to see a future beyond the desolation. In this community, family culture encourages partnering and starting a family of their own when they reach adolescence, with many children leaving formal education behind by age 12. It is not uncommon for 14-year-olds to begin living with a girlfriend or boyfriend; marriage rituals are rarely celebrated and it is the general custom not to marry. There is widespread lack of [...]

Potter’s House: Transformation Through Livelihood Strengthening2019-05-15T17:14:11-05:00

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 new [...]

No Ordinary Love Ministries: Reuniting Children and Families in Ethiopia2019-05-15T17:18:13-05:00

Supporting the Church Body to Keep Families Together

Working in partnership with local initiatives is an effective response to the needs of orphans and vulnerable children. Preventing family separation, and children being welcomed into new loving, safe, and stable families is what success looks like in this type of work. In communities all around the world, church partnerships play a vital role in upholding the importance of family and supporting care of orphans and vulnerable children. An organization doing such critical work is World Orphans. The US-based nonprofit works to empower the church to care for orphans by partnering with churches and facilitating direct church-to-church partnerships to support [...]

Supporting the Church Body to Keep Families Together2019-05-15T17:20:15-05:00

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 [...]

Two Stories of Transforming Good Intentions into Best Practices2019-05-15T17:24:03-05:00

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 Organisations, 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 ACCI2019-05-15T17:26:17-05:00

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!2019-05-15T17:30:10-05:00

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 Resources2019-05-15T17:33:32-05:00

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 Partnership2019-05-15T17:37:32-05:00
Translate »