It’s the end of the day on a Thursday. It’s been a long day, and the phone rings.
As the familiar sound echoes in her ears, she takes a deep breath and picks up the call.
“Thank you for calling Illinois DCFS. This is Sarah.”
It’s a mandated reporter on the other end. The caller was expressing concern about a family who was struggling with a variety of physical needs that was making it difficult to care for their children.
As the call ended, Sarah hung up the phone and leaned back in her chair. This case wasn’t an emergency yet, and didn’t require a formal report, but it could become an emergency soon.
She looked across her desk and a card caught her eye.
It read: “The Forgotten Initiative” with a Chicagoland location and phone number listed.
Sarah remembered the donuts The Forgotten Initiative had brought in the week before, and suddenly it clicked in her mind.
She picked up the phone again.
The phone rang once.
Someone picked up.
“Hi, this is Amelia, an Advocate with The Forgotten Initiative. How can I help?”
As Sarah explained the situation, you could hear the eagerness in Amelia’s voice. Amelia was honored to help. She had the connections to bring support and stay consistent with follow-up. And together, they agreed to do what they could to help this family and keep DCFS from needing to open an investigation.
(Names and details changed to protect privacy.)
This is one of our favorite stories to tell.
Curious how it ends? As the TFI team in this Chicagoland county stepped in to practically meet physical needs and engage the family in question, they built trust and the family was willing to communicate additional needs. As the family communicated additional needs, this TFI Advocate leveraged their connections with a local church to provide ongoing support for this family. DCFS did not need to open an official investigation, a church that wasn’t previously involved in foster care ministry got involved, and a caseworker didn’t get an additional case added to their caseload.
Read that again: a church that wasn’t previously involved in foster care ministry got involved, and a caseworker didn’t get an additional case added to their caseload.
This is what we are all about.
Stories like this are a perfect example of what it looks like to help people everywhere support the foster care community and experience Jesus together. Moreover, this is the type of work our TFI Advocates across the nation are doing each and every week.
And we’d love for you to join us on this mission.
Applications Are Opening April 1 for You to Become a TFI Advocate
Here at TFI, we have over 45 Advocates we have the privilege of supporting and equipping as they connect foster care agencies with local churches throughout our nation. Only twice a year do we open applications to become a TFI Advocate. Beginning April 1, one of those times will be starting!
Our National team exists to help people like you launch and lead thriving foster care ministries, and we have an entire staff dedicated to helping you with personalized coaching, professional resources, and intentional community.
Currently, we have TFI Advocates serving in the gaps all across the country in nearly 30 states, each of them connecting the Church with agencies so that the foster care community experiences the love of Jesus as the church meets their needs.
We want to invite you to be part of that.
You can find all the details and be first to be notified when applications open at www.tfiadvocate.org.
(If you have a desire to support the foster care community in a bigger way, and have a passion to see people experience Jesus, please prayerfully consider if this is something God is calling you to! We’d love to talk with you!)
Whether he is drinking coffee or designing graphics, Mitch is always looking for new ways The Forgotten Initiative can grow. His background includes working as a Creative Arts and Communications Director on various levels at a local church. He and his wife Becky were married in April of 2018, and together they enjoy camping, live music, black coffee, and good books.
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