One Day. One Voice. One Purpose.
On Orphan Sunday, Christians stand for the orphan. We are a people called to defend the fatherless, to care for the child who has no family, to visit orphans in their distress. (Isaiah 1:17)
Thank you for joining us for Orphan Sunday 2017! We hope you feel better equipped to find your role in orphan care and support. Join us in November of 2018 for our next Orphan Sunday event!
The Global Orphan Crisis
The total estimated number of vulnerable children worldwide: 140 million
This number includes both single and double orphans. In the '90s, UNICEF and other global organizations broadened the term 'orphan' to also include children who are left vulnerable due to the loss of one parent, such as with the AIDS epidemic. Children and families staggered by the loss of a parent may face hardships such as poverty, malnutrition, displacement and lack of education.
The misunderstanding of the 'orphan' classification can lead to responses that focus on providing care only for individual children rather than supporting the families and communities that care for orphans and are in need of support. Of the estimated 140 million children classified as orphans, 15.1 million have lost both parents. However, these numbers do not include the estimated 2-8 million children living in institutions, on the streets, exploited for labor, victims of trafficking or those participating in armed conflicts.
What about here in United States?
- Children in foster care in the U.S.: 402,378
- Children in foster care waiting to be adopted: 101,840
- Children entering foster care in 2013: 254,904
- Children “aging out” of the foster system in 2012: 23,090
- Number of children in care whose parental rights were terminated in 2013: 58,887
- Number of children in Georgia state foster care: 14,400
Each of these numbers represents a face, a child, a teenager, a future of hope or hopelessness.
Foster, Adopt, Respite, Support
James 2:17 tells us that faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. The global orphan crisis is of course too large for any one person or one church. But without a willingness to act, if we feel defeated before we begin to try, this crisis continues to grow. How can you make a difference in your sphere of influence? Consider these 4 ways to act:
- Foster Care: Foster parents give grace, love and stability for sometimes weeks, often months, and occasionally years. Bill Moyers once wrote, “Faith based charity provides crumbs from the table. Faith based justice offers a place at the table.” Foster parents offer children a place at their table, in their home and in their hearts. Imagine a child that has just been removed from their home in the middle of the night. Feeling terrified and in chaos, you as a foster parent can bring peace and stability back to their heart.
- Adoption: Adoptive parents fulfill the most important need in a child's life: giving them a forever family. Whether you're adopting domestically or internationally the journey is costly, stressful, time consuming and sometimes painful. Orphan children come with hurts, fears and baggage. But love conquers pain, and the rewards are absolutely from God. What is closer to our Heavenly Father's heart than taking one who is on the outside and bringing them in!
- Respite Care: Interim Caregivers give foster families the extended break they need to remain healthy in their marriage and overall life. These helpers, through a special approval process, are like aunts and uncles to foster children, keeping the children for a long weekend or even up to a few weeks. Further, Interim Caregivers are “on deck” foster parents, qualified to step into a more committed role if they choose.
- Support: Do you know a foster or adoptive family? Family helpers and child mentors become extended family to a foster family. Volunteers are part of a care community of support to a foster family, providing practical support such as meals, laundry, housecleaning, yard work, transportation, childcare, tutoring, mentoring, etc…
Resources to get you started
Pike County, Georgia DFCS Office
Spalding County, Georgia DFCS Office
To speak with someone about becoming a foster or adoptive parent Contact the foster care and adoption recruitment intake line at 1-877-210-KIDS
Georgia Foster & Adoption Support
AdoptUSKids.org is a project of the US Children’s Bureau that provides tools and technicalassistance to help child welfare systems connect children in foster care with families. AdoptUSKids also provides photos of children in GA who are currently available for adoption.
GCACofgeorgia.com is a private agency that provides foster and adoption services to Georgia families. GCAC works closely with the Georgia Department of Family and Children Services to ensure children are placed in safe and nurturing homes.
gbchfm.org Georgia Baptist Children's Homes & Family Ministries is a Christian caring ministry of services designed to promote the spiritual, physical and emotional well-being of children, youth and families.
Every Christmas, Clark Howard and News/Talk WSB join with the Georgia Department of Family and Children's Services to provide gifts for the foster kids all across Georgia. Whether you give in person or donate online, your generosity shows them that someone really cares, a gift that truly lasts a lifetime.