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The Hood Magazine

Keeping Families Together in Crisis

03/21/2015 04:31PM ● By Hood Magazine
By Judee Howard, Bethany Christian Services 

 

Krista didn’t know where to turn when her children’s father left the family. She loved her three children, but she needed help facing this crisis. She needed to know her children would be safe. Through a program called Safe Families for ChildrenTM (SFFC) ministry, Krista temporarily placed her children with a local host family who could provide the security and stability they needed while Krista got back on her feet.

SFFC is a ministry where families reach out to families and help keep children safe. Unlike foster care, parents voluntarily and temporarily place their children in host homes. Host families are thoroughly screened and they receive no compensation for the care they provide. SFFC offers a specific form of support in times of need with the goal of reuniting children with their families in a stronger home environment.

Lisa and Kevin became SFFC hosts for a very personal reason. “I had come out of an abusive first marriage and raised my three children on my own for many years,” said Lisa. “I remember feeling overwhelmed and alone. I knew I was possibly a crisis away from being in the same shoes as the moms who reach out to Safe Families.”

Lisa and Kevin’s first hosting experience was looking after a three-year-old boy and his seven-month-old sister. Their mother was leaving an abusive relationship and facing surgery within the week. Lisa and Kevin wanted to help, but, as empty nesters, their home wasn’t exactly equipped for a toddler and a baby. That’s when the SFFC network sprang into action. Within 24 hours, they had diapers, a high chair, baby gates, toys and everything they needed.

At the same time, the children’s mother was receiving the healing and support she needed. Although the placement has ended, Lisa and Kevin remain close with the children and their mother, and they consider one another family.