One of the most surprising areas of growth this year was the number of people God has called to be foster parents. Prior to our Foster Care Informational event in May, we had approximately 3 foster families. Most of the people that came to our event are now licensed, or are in the licensing process. Many people said this was the nudge they needed to say yes, and knowing there was a community of support behind them made the decision even easier. We also got the attention of Boone County DCS, as 5 families told them they were sent from Traders Point Christian Church. This allowed us to begin a relationship with Boone DCS and secure an amazing opportunity for outreach. We are currently stocking both Boone and Hendricks Co DCS with supplies from our closet that they can give to their kinship foster parents who cannot afford diapers, clothes, and formula for the children in their care. In addition to these current licensed families, we have 3 families in the licensing process.
In November we attended a training clinic taught by Live the Promise, a not-for-profit in Georgia that helps churches start and run their foster care ministries. We specifically went to learn how they run Care Communities. Care Communities provide wrap-around support for foster families by meeting the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of the foster family. After 3 years and over 100 families, Live the Promise has seen the rate of foster parent retention after the first year increase from 50% to 95%. We held our first training December 4th and had 16 people commit to being a part of a care community. We need 42 more people to fully support our current foster families, and we have a goal of 100 people total to be involved in a Care Community in 2017. This will be our main focus going into the new year.