Emily Smithhart is passionate about connecting churches and agencies in this work of foster care ministry. Emily was first introduced to foster care as a teen when she would babysit for a family that fostered. Her desire to step in and care for those involved with foster care continued to grow.
For the past two years, Emily and her husband, Bennett, have experienced the tension of foster care as they’ve opened their home to children and loved biological families. They have walked the road of attachment, reunification, respite care and are learning what it looks like to hold both joy and grief together.
Emily shares her motivation for this work: “It is because I am so loved by Jesus and what He did for me on the cross that I am compelled to respond by loving God and loving people fiercely.” Emily is someone who loves with patience and grace, and it’s evident to those around her.
Foster care comes with its ups and downs, yet we hold onto hope. Emily holds onto this: “As we work to support foster families and agencies, we are stepping into the broken parts of this world while also looking forward to the day that all will be redeemed in Christ’s name.” Redemption. Restoration. This is what Emily longs for.
She’s jumping into a new role, one of a TFI Advocate, where she’ll be able to use her gifts to encourage churches to come alongside the foster care community.
“I think so many churches and church members desire to do more for the vulnerable in their community, but they don’t know what to do. I also know that foster care agencies are spread thin with their employees and need help but they don’t usually think of asking the Church. I think that there is so much the Church can do to show social workers that we are FOR this community. I love networking and connecting people together and developing people into their gifts.”
Emily attends Heights Church in Citrus Heights, CA, and is learning from and looking to add support to Sacramento County CPS through her TFI Ministry.
Check out more about the work she is doing at: sacramentoca.tfiadvocate.org.