Does it ever seem like you carefully crack a door open, and then God just blows it wide open?
A few weeks ago, my co-worker and I met with a social worker and assistant principal at AHS about needs within the high school, and how Safe Families could offer some help. Some students just needed a place to stay for a few weeks, others want a chance to graduate High School. We starting thinking about what type of families might be willing or interested in helping kids who need a safe place to stay, and decided to get a meeting together.
But before our meeting happened, we started getting referrals for these high school kids in the gap.
An email from a social worker described a teen who wants to be in a family and finish high school…followed by another inbox from our intake line about a straight A student who sings on his churches worship team and is not welcome in his home… followed by a string of text messages about a girl in foster care whose caseworker cannot find placement for her in her school district and is looking for help.
These kids are out there and they need our help. Read for yourself. These are still active needs:
“I have a 17 year old male student that could use some help and support from Safe Families. Mom kicked him out about a month ago and he has been living with a friend who does not always have food and they have no transportation. The student needs a place to stay so he can finish out the school year. He is extremely sweet and just wants to be in a family situation where people will come alongside him and help with the skills he needs to get out and live independently. Let me know if you have any ideas or host families that might be willing to meet this need.”
“Straight A student, on worship team at church. Asked her to explain behaviors, and she said he has no respect for her and will not clean his room. She said he goes to church, but she does not. He is currently living with his uncle, but mom said that was not a long term solution. Mom has called the Juvenile Probation Center. I prayed for her, her son, and their situation at the end of the call.”
“I am looking for a foster family for a 15 year old girl that I work with. She has had some mild behavior issues and needs to get on track academically. Has a great personality. One of my favorites. Just needs a loving home with structure and discipline. If you know of anyone that might be interested please let me know. We can get them approved through DCS. They don’t have any foster homes available here in Madison County. They said if I could find someone that would take her they would expedite the process and make it work.”
With Safe Families, a willing family who has the means to open their home up to a child can be processed as a host family. Placement with older youth are not as common, but they do occur. We provide paperwork for a 17 year old to place himself in a host family (if/when this is appropriate), as well as Household Harmony expectations for such a placement. Safe Families recruits host families through Christian churches in order to train and equip families to serve children in need within their own community. The host family process includes an application and references, fingerprints, background checks, and a home evaluation. You can find out more about Safe Families and becoming a host family here.
Safe Families for Children is working alongside Anderson High School to help kids in the gap. Are you interested in opening up your home specifically for the purpose of hosting an older youth? Do you know someone who might be? Please join Safe Families and AHS Social Worker Missy Morris, Assistant Principal Kelly Durr, and adoptive parent Shalimar Scott on April 19 at South Meridian Church of God (2402 Meridian Street Anderson, IN 46016) at 6:00pm for a meeting to discuss the needs of youth at Anderson High School. RSVP to Shalimar Scott for attendance and childcare needs: firstname.lastname@example.org