“A lot of families who reach out to us are referred by DCS, MIFA, CPS, or another helping agency and are at risk of having their children enter foster care. We work with them and relieve them of the responsibility of having to manage their day-to-day lives and take care of their children at the same time. The children stay with a host family while the parent (often a single mom) looks for a job and gets on her feet. She can’t very well take a child along with her on a job interview, for instance. One host family keeps the children, while another works with Mom to help her network and find the resources she needs. It’s not a foster care situation. Foster care is when children are removed by the state, the parent has no choice about it, and the foster family receives a stipend to help with expenses. With Safe Families, parents who are struggling place their children with us voluntarily, retain custody, and are still considered the primary parents. They’re not in the legal system, there’s lots of contact between the parents and their children, there’s no monetary compensation for the host family, no cost for the parents, and the relationship that develops is more like extended family. It’s similar to a child staying with an aunt and uncle while Mom gets her life back on track.
“Often, churches want to be more involved in helping the community, but they don’t know where to start. Safe Families provides a way that’s a little easier to navigate than going through the state or trying to start a brand-new program. We already have the framework in place. We do the criminal background checks and home studies, we provide training, and we’re there for help and advice along the way. Our host families are made up of people who feel blessed and just want to help. They deal with children and adults who have been through a lot, so it’s not easy work, but it keeps families together and helps them develop a better future story.”
FB: Safe Families for Children - Memphis
Phone: 901-312-5983 or 662-446-2820