Safe Families for Children is a Christ-centered ministry that provides temporary care for children. It is a national movement of compassion that helps families-in-crisis by encouraging the Church to resume its biblical responsibility to care for vulnerable children and become part of their family's support network.
Suggested reading: "How We Became a Safe Family"
Opportunities to Serve
- Host family - Serving as a host family is an excellent opportunity to engage your entire family in “caring for the least of these.” This involves hosting one or more child(ren) in your home while the mom and/or dad are going through a crisis. In most cases, the parent is a single mom who may be homeless, facing incarceration, in need of medical care or inpatient treatment for addictions or mental health. The most vulnerable children are 6 years or younger and need housing for a few days, weeks or in some cases, many months.
As a host family, you are able to determine the number and ages of children that you would host. After completing the application process and training, you would begin receiving notices of housing needs, and if you’re able to help at that given time, you respond to the email.
"Serving with Safe Families has been so rewarding! Every one of us invests in these kids... it's a family ministry. Our teens have learned to take the focus off self and give - whether it is playing with toys, reading stories at bedtime or doing bath time.
We all have to give of our time in order to make this work. It's also amazing how God has opened up our hearts. His love pours out of us, and we love these kids with a depth we never imagined!
We've been so blessed by having these little people in our home!"
~ Leanna Watchorn
- Family Friend - Connect with biological families and help address the circumstances that led to their crisis. In most cases, this would involve a female, mature Christian mentor pairing with a single mom, developing a relationship, helping with practical needs and sharing the love of Christ. The time commitment, frequency of meeting and type of assistance will look different with each individual. Overall, we want to come alongside and provide needed support, accountability and encouragement as the parent(s) moves beyond their crisis to a healthier place as an individual and parent.
- Respite Care. Providing support for host families is a definite need, especially in cases where the host family may have child(ren) for a number of weeks or months. Offering to babysit for a few hours or an entire day, gives a needed break.
- Resources. In many cases, the child(ren) arrive at a host family without needed supplies, such as diapers, car seat, high chair, clothing, etc. We are partnering with the Clothing Closet to cover any clothing needs for the children and we are also planning to compile additional supplies. If you have any extra diapers or baby items that you would like to donate, please them drop off in the Clothing Closet bins with a label for “Safe Families”.
There are a growing number of families at Grace Church that are host families. There have also been families-in-crisis within our church that need help from Safe Families. Our goal is expand our host family network at Grace so that we can care for families in crisis both inside and outside our church walls. We will help with practical resources for our host families and provide opportunities for host families, respite families, and mentors to meet together, share stories, encourage and support one another in prayer.
If you or anyone you know is in need of temporary housing for your child(ren), please call 612-518-5986 or visit www.safefamiliesmn.org.