Families Helping Families in Crisis
Safe Families for Children™ (SFFC) is a national movement of compassion that gives hope to families in crisis. This network of volunteer host families help parents who need temporary care for their children as they work through unmanageable or critical circumstances.
Bethany Christian Services mission is to protect and enhance the lives of vulnerable children and families. Safe Families for Children is an innovative approach that can accomplish this mission. Because of this, Bethany Christian Services partnered with the Safe Families for Children program after being approached by its founder, Dr. David Anderson of Lydia Home Association in Chicago. Dr. Anderson approached Bethany due to our size and scope as an organization with a solid reputation in social services across the USA and globe.
How this program is different than Foster Care or Adoption
Safe Families for Children is an alternative to foster care. In foster care, children are placed into homes through the courts and foster families receive compensation for their care. Through SFFC, host families receive no compensation for caring for children, and parents voluntarily have their children stay with them. The goal of the SFFC ministry is to offer support in a time of need and reunite children with their families in a stronger home environment. This temporary care for children in need gives parents time to establish stability in their homes.
Because Safe Families for Children is not foster care, the children are not placed in the care of the State. Bethany staff work with the parents during this transition to identify steps to regain stability and reunite with their children quickly and safely. Parents may have their children live with a host family because of any number of challenges such as:
In our eight months with Safe Families For Children, we have been a host to three families. We’re happy to say that one of those experiences did result in a relationship extending past the official hosting time. The “official responsibility” portion of the relationship lasted only one week and involved caring for a one-week-old infant while her mom took time to rest, recover, and care for her 2-year-old toddler. By the time the mom was ready to return to work, we had developed respect and admiration for this extremely hardworking young woman who was committed to doing all she could to earn a living. It was a joy to receive her calls, asking us to take care of her baby while she worked double shifts as a waitress at a 24-hour restaurant. A little lost sleep on our part was a small contribution compared to the sacrifices this mom has made to provide for her little family.
Being a host for Safe Families For Children isn’t easy. It’s hard work. It’s not convenient. It doesn’t always go as planned. It disrupts your everyday life. But, it’s worth every sleepless night and every extra load of laundry. It’s worth going out of your comfort zone and stretching yourself emotionally and spiritually. All you need to do is make a little room in your life, in your home, and in your heart. Whether it’s a short-term or long-term relationship, you are caring deeply for people who need to be deeply cared for.
Watch the video that inspires families to get involved
Beautiful testimonies from host families and a parent about their experience with Safe Families for Children in Long Beach, CA
Ways to Get Involved
Can you open your home to a family going through a troubled time? Reach out with God’s love and compassion to embrace those who need help in your community.
Open your home to nurture a child in need as an alternative to foster care.