Did you know that Indianapolis is rated to be the 12 neediest city in America with more than 6,000 families suffering from homelessness? Homelessness is the #1 reason why Safe Families serves our city, along with a variety of other crisis situations.
Safe Families is a branch of Traders Point Christian Church’s Live 1:17 Orphan Care Ministry where volunteer host families within the church and community provide parents in need with a loving home where they can safely place their children in times of crisis.
Below you will find our Top 10 Frequently Asked Questions in regard to this amazing ministry that continues to serve our beautiful yet broken city.
Safe Families FAQ’s
1 – How can I get involved?
- Become a Host Family: Open your home to a safe and loving environment for children in crisis on a temporary basis.
- Volunteer as a Family Friend: Help support our host families by providing babysitting, meals, transportation, etc.
- Serve as a Family Coach: Act as a liaison between the host family and the biological family by keeping lines of communication open and assisting them with needs during the placement period.
2 – As a Host Family, what does the process entail?
- The 5-step approval process that takes approximately 30 days to complete. It includes:
- an application,
- home visit,
- background check,
- and references.
As a host family the commitment period is up to you. Once approved in the Safe Families system you may serve as long as you wish or deactivate your status at any time.
3 – What is the average length of a placement?
- Hosting placements can last 2 days to a year, but the average length of stay is about 6 weeks.
4 – Can specific guidelines be put in place for placements?
- Yes, as the host family you can define certain ages and gender of your placements based on your current family situation.
5 – Do host families receive financial reimbursement?
- Host Families are volunteers who are screened, trained, and serve without compensation. As a result, Safe Families is a voluntary, non-coercive alternative to the state child welfare system. By temporarily freeing parents from the responsibility of caring for their children, SFFC provides them with time to address personal issues without fear of losing custody.
6 – Is there contact with the biological parent or legal guardian?
- Yes, absolutely. The goal is to form a partnership between the host families and the biological family in hopes that the relationship will continue even after the children return home.
7 – What resources and support are available?
- Our goal at both Safe Families and TPCC is to surround our host families with overwhelming support, alleviating the stress and struggles these transitions can bring. By volunteering to be a Family Friend you are serving our families with small gestures (babysitting, meals, transportation, groceries, cleaning, yard work, etc.) that might otherwise seem difficult during a placement.
- TPCC also provides a Supply Closet that offers items host families may need during their placement – clothes, diapers, gear, formula, etc.
8 – Is training available? Required?
- Yes, Safe Families training is required before becoming a host or a family coach. These are usually one day trainings hosted at a local church.
- Through TPCC, we also offer Women’s Fellowship, and Trauma Competent Caregiving resources and courses throughout the year.
9 – What if the crisis situation isn’t resolved during the placement period?
- Safe Families goal is to reunite the children with their parents/guardian once the home is more stable due to Safe Families guidance. This process has currently resulted in 93% of placements returning home. However, if situations call for extended placement or further guidance Safe Families Family Coach will refer them to the necessary resources (adoption resources, Department of Child Services, etc.) to assist in the case.
10 – What if the hosts have a trip or travel plans?
- Safe Families has many hosts looking for short-term placements only. This is a good time for those host families to step in and provide respite care. It is also an option, pending the approval of the biological family/guardian, to take the child/children with you on the trip.
If you would like more information on Safe Families or have a question that was unanswered please contact us here: Safe Families Questions