Safe Families is a wonderful program that offers support to families who need help caring for their children for a short time when they are in a crossroads in life. It is hard for most of us to understand this need, since we have family and friends to lean on when we need help with childcare. The families partaking in Safe Families do not have this support and that is why they need us!
My family, which consists of Tyler (17), Jordyn (14), and I have had two placements through Safe families.
My children have supported the decision to be involved with Safe Families 100%. We would love to offer our home more often; however, I am a single mom and work full time so finding after school care proves difficult with Tyler and Jordyn helped but they have after school activities, so I needed something on a consistent basis. I reached out to the Foglia YMCA and both times they have stepped up and provided free after school care. This gracious offering enabled us to help more children through Safe Families. So far, we have had an adorable 6-year-old boy for 3 weeks and most recently two brothers, 6 and 8, for 3.5 months. We offered them not only our home, but our love and assurance that they will be provided for in a safe environment.
Safe Families provided us with Family Friends as well; people in the community that are available to help with various needs. It may be with clothes, meals, a car seat, toys and even childcare. My son and I had to go away for a college visit and it was so easy finding a family to watch the two boys with the support system set up through Safe Families. They had a great time and were so open and flexible in the time they with this family. Once again, we were able to show them love and compassion. By consistently showing them this, we can only hope they remember during difficult times that there are people out there who care and love them.
Alpine Chapel was a great resource to us as well. Over winter break the kids needed a place to go for a week and Alpine stepped up and covered the balance for Winter Break Camp at the YMCA. This is yet another act of kindness which enabled us to keep the two boys with us. We would not have been able to host if it were not for Family Friends, the YMCA, and Alpine Chapel, as well as our friends who offered some meals and groceries. It truly does take a village!
After becoming a part of this program, it encouraged me to want to help more frequently! There are so many children that need our help and love. This encouraged me to take the next step and recently I obtained my training and license to be a foster parent. My children are super excited and hopefully we will get our first placement this August. Our home is still available for a placement through Safe Families if the ages and after school care fall in place. By the grace of God, somehow it just does, and we are so happy to be able to love on these kids. If we have a spare bedroom then our house is their house!