When crisis strikes, many of us rely on relatives and our church family for support. But for some parents, there isn’t a safety net. Often problems such as drug addiction, domestic abuse, incarceration, or illness can be debilitating, making it impossible for parents to care for their children. With the changing economy many more families are experiencing financial crisis, unemployment, and homelessness. During such crisis, children are especially at-risk for neglect or abuse as their parents struggle to cope with crushing circumstances and emotions.
State welfare emergency hotlines throughout the nation reportedly receive over 5 million calls each year of suspected child abuse or neglect. Of those calls, about one million meet the criteria for state intervention. What happens to the remaining four million families that don’t qualify for help?
Overburdened by need and restrained by resources, law and policy most state welfare agencies are allowed to rescue only children who have suffered blatant abuse or neglect. Overwhelmed and underfunded, the state is ill-equipped to deal with a problem of this magnitude.
Without assistance, many of these families will find the issues in their homes escalating to episodes of abuse and/or neglect with long lasting consequences for not only the child, but also for our communities as well.
Since 2005, Safe Families for Children has offered sanctuary to thousands of children, minimizing the risk for abuse or neglect and giving parents the time and tools they need to help their families thrive. The ultimate goal is to strengthen and support parents so they can become Safe Families for their own children.
“A client of Bright Start was having major surgery and does not have family or close friends in town. My client has a one year old daughter and was not to lift her for six weeks. Safe Families was a great option for my client. She met the family on a couple occasions before her surgery and her daughter was introduced to the family. The day of her surgery, the family kept her daughter and even invited my client to stay with them while she recovered for a few days. I do not know what other option my client would have had that we all felt comfortable with. Safe Families is a great program and option for our community.”
Patty Luke, M.A., LSWA
Children’s Home Society
Bright Start Therapist
“I became aware of Safe Families for the first time in July of 2015 when I was assigned a child protection case. The mother in the case had placed her child with Safe Families until she was able to get her life back on track. Since working with the program, I have discovered the incredible training and commitment these host families have for the children they become involved with. Safe Families not only cares for the children but their program also works closely with the parents to assist them in their time of difficulty. This is a wonderful program we have in our community. This program has embraced struggling families and making every effort to support these families so that the parent makes the best choices for their children.”
Department of Social Services
Division of Child Protective Services
Family Services Specialist
For more information about partnering with Safe Families for Children, contact Angel Metzger at firstname.lastname@example.org.