by Jami Kaeb
Awareness led me to action.
I’ll never forget the day my eyes were opened to the world of foster care and the needs that existed throughout the entire foster care community. Since then, my perspective has never been the same.
For me, it’s about people. I am passionate about the people in our nation who are hurting, feel misunderstood, or unseen—and I’m not the only one.
We know that Jesus cares about people. This is made clear throughout Scripture, and His love and care culminated in the great sacrifice He made on the cross for us all. Incredibly, as Christians, we have His same Spirit in us, the same Spirit that loved us so deeply that he gave up everything for us, so we follow His example.
I love seeing His redemption plan walked out here on earth. I love seeing people step into their God-given purposes. I love seeing children grow, learn, and heal. I love seeing families reunited. I love seeing awareness lead others to gospel action!
We are not here to fix the brokenness in the system or this world. Instead, we are invited to step in and walk with people through it.
It’s through humble dependence on Jesus and authentic relationships with others, where we will see lives changed, more people supporting the foster care community, and experiencing Jesus together! This is why TFI exists – we want to help you be part of this!
If this lights a fire in you, we have a role that you might love! Here are five traits we’ve seen in some of the most effective foster care advocates we know. Consider these as you prayerfully explore the TFI Advocate role.
1) Effective Advocates care for the entire foster care community, but invest deeply in a few.
When many of us think of foster care, the first thing that comes to mind is children. But the community is much larger and consists of agency workers, foster parents, biological families, and more.
At TFI, we intentionally invest in foster care workers because they are often overlooked and underappreciated, and we want to lighten their burdens.
Our agency workers are connected with the rest of the community, so not only are we able to care for our workers, but we also have the opportunity to directly meet the needs of foster parents, biological families, and the kids themselves.
2) Effective Advocates are trauma-informed.
The importance of understanding trauma cannot be understated. While children are deeply impacted by foster care trauma, agency workers, foster parents, and birth families are too.
Some of the most effective foster care advocates I know are passionate about growing in their understanding of how trauma shows itself throughout the community and the long paths towards healing from it.
3) Effective Advocates are passionate about equipping others along the way.
Effective advocates are leaders; leaders who develop other leaders. They are passionate about leading others along a journey to discover the unique difference they can make throughout the foster care community. They are passionate about sharing resources, helping people answer questions, and connecting others to organizations where they can thrive as they use their gifts.
4) Effective Advocates are life-long learners.
We all have so much to learn, and great advocates recognize this. They approach those they want to serve from the posture of a learner, not the one who knows all. By listening and learning, they are more easily able to build meaningful relationships with those in need and those available to provide support.
5) Effective Advocates live with hope.
1 Timothy 4:10 says, “For to this end we toil and strive, because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe.”
Great foster care advocates live with this hope, believing there is eternal redemption on the horizon and a God-given purpose that awaits us.
Simply put, we live with hope because of Jesus. This is not the end of the story.
Start a Ministry in Your Community
There are many different ways to serve the foster care community. I want to tell you about our way.
Here at TFI, we have over ten years of experience connecting foster care agencies with local churches throughout our nation.
We know how to build trusted relationships with agencies, and we know how to equip the church to meet the physical, relational, and spiritual needs of the foster care community.
We exist 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 the agency so that the foster care community experiences the love of Jesus as the church meets their needs.
And, right now, applications to become a TFI Advocate are open for the month of April! Are you ready to fill out your TFI Advocate application?!
Let’s make a difference together!
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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