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National Social Work Month: Your Church’s Opportunity to Support Agency Workers

By March 21, 2024Blog

Did you know over 200,000 children enter foster care every single year? Sadly, half of all foster homes close within one year, less than 50% of children return home, and 100,000 still wait for permanency.

The need is great.

Too many children in foster care live in a perpetual cycle of change, bouncing around from to person to person and place to place, all while they try to navigate the aftermath of experiencing an unsafe environment, and being separated from their families.

Foster care workers are charged with protecting these children, providing them with temporary homes, safely reunifying them with their parents, or finding them safe and permanent homes if reunification is not possible.

This work is overwhelming, and our workers are struggling. They are struggling with compassion fatigue, burnout, and secondary traumatic stress. These challenges are resulting in high turnover for this profession as workers are leaving their roles after only 2.5 years on average.

Child-welfare workers are some of the most unseen and undervalued caregivers in our society.

But it doesn’t have to be this way!

At The Forgotten Initiative, we believe well cared for people care well for people and there is no one better equipped to offer the kind of care and support our weary workers need than the Church! This is why we exist to help churches support their local foster care agencies (and those who work there!).

If you aren’t aware, March is National Social Work Month. If you have a TFI Advocate near you, this is a great opportunity to reach out and see if there are any areas where you can serve the agencies in your area. As we celebrate social workers this month (and beyond!), I encourage you to take some time to reflect:

  • How can you learn from agency workers in your community? Where can you listen and learn?
  • How can you remind yourself to regularly pray for those in this important role?
  • How can your church regularly serve foster care workers in your community? Perhaps you can send encouraging handwritten notes, buy them a breakfast or lunch, or reach out about other needs they may have.

Want to learn more about the day-to-day experience of foster care workers? These are great episodes of The Forgotten Podcast to listen to:

Jami Kaeb

Jami is the Founder and Executive Director of The Forgotten Initiative. Adoption, foster care, and advocacy were not part of Jami’s dreams for her life, but God changed her heart when He made her aware, and she is passionate about helping others become aware too! She and her husband Clint are parents to their seven children (five through adoption).

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