The foster care system in Texas is tapped out, and it’s causing children to linger “in the system” for years.
The shortage of available homes is putting children at serious risk. One district judge said that “rape, abuse, psychotropic medication and instability are the norm” for the 12,000 foster children who are in Child Protective Services (CPS) custody for at least a year.
Things are so bad that CPS workers are spending the night in offices or motels with dozens of “children without placements” for multiple nights.
Government officials are managing so many problems they’re asking for outside support, and they’ve turned to one group of people known for their compassion and willingness to do hard things: the Church.
“Texas first lady Cecilia Abbott and state protective services chief Henry ‘Hank’ Whitman have asked religious congregations across the state to help recruit and support compassionate adults who agree to become foster parents or adopt maltreated children,” reports the Dallas News.
“While not everyone feels called to foster or adopt a child in need, we are all called to do something for this vulnerable population,” they wrote in a letter to faith communities that also listed various ways Texans can help.
Here at Focus on the Family, we wholeheartedly agree that churches and individual Christians have a special role to play in caring for these foster children who are in desperate need. We hope that many Christians will welcome children into their homes, and adopt them into their families.
At the same time, we understand that not everyone can, or is called to, adopt. But like the first lady of the Lone Star State points out, there are many ways to help care for orphans.
That’s why Focus on the Family also encourages Christians to W.R.A.P. around adoptive (or foster) families. As part of the community that surrounds these special families, you can wrestle in prayer, provide respite care, perform acts of service and claim the promises of God for that family.
Beyond individuals and families, churches can also wrap around adoptive and foster families by providing an environment of unconditional love, nonjudgmental hearts, and simple, practical support.
So if you’re in Texas, please consider how you might help.
And if you’re in any other of the 49 states, please know that there are children in your area who also need your help, support, love and prayers.
I hope you’ll check out Focus’ resources on how to support adoptive families, which include a small group study, a kit for churches, and booklets.