Message from Jami
I love January! It’s a fresh start, a clean slate AND it’s the month that we, TFI National, are going to move into our brand new office! We are also really excited about our new website that is coming and we are hoping to launch in March.
As we have been meeting with consultants for the website and talking through our messaging, it has helped me realize that I want to tweak the way I represent and share about TFI.
In the past I’ve always said, we do awareness, encouragement to those who are in the trenches and we support and equip advocates. I’ve used them as these three separate pillars standing alone.
Instead of thinking as these three things individually, I now realize they all work together so beautifully in a circle. Awareness leads to action and leads to people serving. As people are serving, they need encouragement and then those people want to help more people know, so they become advocates on their own. Then the cycle starts over again because the advocate brings awareness that leads to action, that brings encouragement and so on. This is the cycle of TFI for both the national level and very much at the local level where you are as well. You are advocating, you are bringing awareness and you are bringing encouragement and then you are getting more people involved on an advocacy level as coordinators joining your team or other advocates launching in nearby areas.
We want more and more people to experience the love of Jesus, to feel His joy and purpose. In every community we want God’s people serving the foster care community and you and I get to be a part of it!
Recruiting Foster Parents
In the last few months, we’ve been asked how TFI recruits foster families. The short answer is—awareness leads to action. We believe that when people hear about foster care, then learn simple ways they can get involved—their interest begins to peak. Then they get more involved. They join a TFI team, support workers, come alongside foster or bio parents and get more excited about who this community is. Awareness leads to action. They start at a minimal-risk-level and they dive deeper because they see this world of foster care and cannot walk away.
So how do we recruit foster parents? Through awareness, sharing about this community of people and share practical ways to get involved. The Lord does the rest!
And along with that—there are many organizations in your communities that have events to recruit foster parents, including some of your agencies, so I’d encourage you to take some of the key things from Rooting for Rivals and support them in their efforts!
Training Foster Parents
We have also been asked how we can train foster parents—and the short answer to that one is—we don’t. There are organizations that are already training foster parents, and we want to support them in what they are doing. Many of you Advocates are doing really cool things in this by providing food and childcare for training classes, handing out support kits and binders full of information at the end of foster parent training. We love these ideas and want to continue supporting you in this!
Rooting for Rivals
Speaking of Rooting for Rivals—You should have received a copy of this book in the mail! Why do we feel it’s so important that we got it for everyone?
Our big vision is that God’s people will serve in ever foster care community across the nation! But that can’t happen with TFI alone. We need each other and we need other organizations to do this great work. We encourage you to read this book and practically apply it in your area.