Foster Care

Children's Hope is partnering with the Alabama Baptist Children's Home (ABCH) to provide Christian homes for foster children. ABCH licenses and oversees their own group of foster families. They receive referrals from the Dept. of Human Resources for foster children coming into care. For example, DHR has to remove a child from a home for neglect. The DHR social worker contacts ABCH to see if they have a foster home available. If they do, the child is placed in this home. DHR will continue to have authority in this child's situation but the child will benefit from all the resources that ABCH has to offer. ABCH also places children who come into care through private placement. For example, a grandparent can no longer care for a grandchild for some reason and has no other options with a relative placement.
 
The partnership with CH has allowed the ABCH to expand to the Montgomery area. Unlike DHR, ABCH is not bound by county lines, so they can work with county DHR offices in Autauga and Elmore counties. ABCH has hired a local social worker to work with our FBC families and other future families in the tri-county area. She will work directly with our families and as a "go-between" with DHR foster care workers. She will work very closely with the DHR workers involved with the foster children. She will be available to help with coordinating doctor's appt., educational needs, and give advice on the unique needs of foster children.
 
ABCH is a child care placing agency in the State of Alabama and therefore, follows the rules and regulations of the AL Dept. of Human Resources. They follow the same regulations and requirements for foster care families/homes as DHR. Basic requirements for being a foster parent can be found at www.dhr.alabama.gov.  Also, a family/individual must complete foster care training (GPS) which is 10 weeks and covers the background, needs, and losses of children coming into care. Once this is completed, the social worker from ABCH will complete a home study, CPR and water safety classes will be provided and up to date physicals will be required. While the process of becoming accredited may be a little overwhelming, it all will be well worth it when families/individuals are able to provide a safe and nurturing environment for a foster child!
 
Other related links to foster care include:
Adopt US Kids
Heart Gallery Alabama
Family Life (search: foster child/family)

Resources:
Tapestry Adoption & Foster Care Ministry
Empowered to Connect
Christian Alliance for Orphans (search: foster care)

CH is also serving as a resource for our local DHR office. In October of 2010, 150 pieces of luggage was donated for foster care children, children's clothes were donated, and an appreciation luncheon was held in August 2011. CH hopes to continue to partner with DHR in other ways as well as the relationship grows. CH also hosted the Heart Gallery of Alabama exhibit at FBC.  This exhibit profiles children in foster care who are available for adoption.  It includes a picture and profile on each child.
 
CH plans to support the First Baptist families/individuals who are called to foster. This may include help with transportation, tutoring, providing baby items or sports equipment, etc.
 
For more information on Children's Hope, please visit childrens-hope.com