What is Safe Families?
Safe Families for Children is an innovative collaboration between area churches, volunteers and child care professionals designed to support at-risk children and parents in need. Safe Families for Children is an opportunity for volunteers to have a powerful impact in the lives of others while practicing biblical hospitality and extending the love of Christ to people in need — all from their own home! Southlands is one of many church partners working to help Safe Families.
How does it work?
Parents experiencing a temporary crisis (such as hospitalization, drug abuse, or housing issues) can call Safe Families to request temporary housing for their children (newborn through 18 years old), while they address the issues that led to the instability in their lives. Volunteers who have signed up as host families are matched with these children, and open their homes to them for an average of one day to three months. Other support volunteers come alongside the host family to help meet practical needs such as providing baby supplies, homework help, babysitting, or anything else that comes up.
Designed to extend and strengthen the community safety net for at-risk families, Safe Families is a positive alternative to the state child welfare system, allowing parents to work out their problems without having to worry about losing custody of their children. The program’s goal is to reunite children with their biological parent(s) in a home that is more stable and healthy, in part because of the contribution of the Safe Families intervention.
How can I get involved?
Southlands church has both host family volunteers, as well as support team volunteers. When a child is placed with one of our host families, an email goes out to our support volunteers outlining the areas needing assistance. It’s up to the support volunteer to respond with how they would like to help. If you are interested in becoming a host family OR a support volunteer, please email our Safe Families coordinators, Stacie MacDonald.
On the last Saturdays of even months, we gather together at Southlands to distribute food to needy families. Come help unpack and organize food for distribution as well as engage and pray with the families. (Spanish speakers especially welcome.)
“And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”
“Defend the cause of the weak and fatherless; maintain the rights of the poor and oppressed. Rescue the weak and needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked.”
Matthew 25:35, 36, 40b
“For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me. […] Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”