A 30,000ft overview of how Safe Families works
Safe Families for Children provides much needed support for parents in crisis, giving them time to get back on their feet while their children are cared for in a safe and loving environment.
Through community networks – schools, hospitals, social workers, churches, law enforcement, and other agencies – Safe Families learns about local families in crisis.
Once identified, a Safe Families representative will visit with the family, assess the situation and needs, and then connect them with the assistance and tools they require.
Volunteers who host children and support parents are known as Host Families and are recruited from a large network of faith communities. Families in crisis, or Families in need, willingly place their children with a safe, loving, and thoroughly screened volunteer Host Family for a short period of time. They can reunite with their children at any time. Both the Family in need and the Host Family participate voluntarily, with no compensation or expectation of adoption.
At the core of the Safe Families model is relationships – developing a supportive and caring relationship between the Host Family and the biological parents and their children. Parents maintain full custody of their child(ren) and are encouraged to participate in decisions regarding their care during the time they are living with the host family. Often, strong bonds are formed and relationships continue long after the children are returned to their parents.
The trust built between the Family in Need and Host Family is central to the Safe Families program. It’s at the heart of creating a safe haven for children and a support network for the Family in need. After the hosting arrangement ends, Safe Families’ goal is for the two families to remain in contact, further reducing social isolation and providing ongoing support.
- We host children of at-risk families in approved volunteer homes for an average of 6 weeks.
- We provide families in crisis with a support network. Our volunteers provide needed resources and services (e.g. mentoring and help securing employment).
- We engage faith communities to recruit and support volunteers and reach out to Families in need.