We went to a lunch on Thursday with a combination of local pastors and the Department of Child and Family Services. It was an interesting marriage between the state and religious organizations!
Basically, what the state needs most from churches are foster parents. The Hazel Dell community, where our church is located, has the largest number of kids needing foster care in the Vancouver area. The problem is that they don’t have enough families for these kids, so they are forced to leave their friends and school district in order to be put into foster care in a neighboring community. On top of being taken out of their home and community, most of the time their siblings are also separated from them because it is difficult for many people to take mulitple kids at one time.
If you are interested in Foster Care, now might be the time to jump and go through the process of applying. It is a 2-3 month process, but the state pays for all of the foster kid’s medical and physical needs. They also pay for daycare for those of you who are working parents. On top of that, 83% of kids are able to go back to their original family within about 18 months after the state has worked with the family. It is a short term commitment that could change the future of a child.
If you need more information, you can contact Peggy Hays at the Department of Child and Family Services. Tell her you’re from the “coffee church” and want to partner with DCFS.