Caring for orphans in their distress...
We share God’s heart for kids separated from their birth families by:
Meeting the children’s needs and Supporting their caregivers
We provide resources, networking, encouragement and prayer for individuals and families desiring to “care for the orphans in their distress” (James 1:27).
The most recent estimates state that there are approximately 143 million orphans (UNICEF, 2008). These numbers do not worldwide include abandoned children or those who are trafficked or sold into the sex trade industry.
In the United States, there are approximately 500,000 children in foster care. Of this number, 130,000 children are waiting and available for adoption, not including children age 16 and older who are close to “aging out” of the system. There are approximately 30,000 children in foster care in Los Angeles County alone . The average child in foster care, waiting to be adopted, is 10 years old. These children are in foster care through no fault of their own. victims of abuse, neglect, violence or They were the abandonment by those charged with the responsibility to care for them.
Each year, an estimated 25,000 youth “age out” of the U.S. foster care system with no support system and little, or no, life skills. They are again “abandoned” into the world without hope for their future. Without a support system in place, many resort to crime, drugs, prostitution and homelessness for their survival. With the odds seemingly stacked against them, the chances of these older youth succeeding in this world are slim.
We can make a positive impact in these children’s lives. Each of us can participate by investing in the lives of these children and encouraging our future generations.
What role will you play?
Establish consistent communication with local ministry and youth organizations to provide opportunities for our ministry members and church community to participate in strategically planned outreach events to connect and interact, on a personal level, with foster and disadvantaged youth.
Develop a mentorship program geared toward foster youth about to “age out” of the system with an orientation toward character and life skills development.
Provide training opportunities for foster and adoptive families either through our ministry or through trusted outside resources.
Provide support for families within our ministry community who are fostering or adopting children, including a respite care team to come alongside these families.
Our call is to “care for the orphans in their distress” (James 1:27). Who better to answer this call than the church?
The plight of the orphan weighs heavily on God’s heart. God’s heart for the fatherless is a consistent theme throughout the Bible. In Psalm 68:5-6, the Lord states that he is “a father to the fatherless.” Elsewhere, we find that “He sets the lonely in families.” We are instructed to “defend the cause of the fatherless” (Isaiah 1:17). This charge is repeated in Psalm 83:2 where we are told to “defend the cause of the weak and the fatherless.” We are to “speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves” (Proverbs 31:8)… this includes the orphan.
How will you answer this call?
Without a supportive role model,
what will the future look like for foster youth aging out of the foster care system?
46% will drop out of high school
51% will be unemployed
50% will be homeless
15% will contemplate/attempt suicide
84% will become parents
30% of emancipated female youth will become pregnant
27% of emancipated male youth will end up in prison
30% will be on public assistance
2% will obtain a bachelor’s degree