Fostering is the best example of civil society in action
Yesterday we received no less than four video calls from different people working for a child in our care. Each reached out to meet a different need in the life of this child who has been thrust into an un-ideal situation. A child who may feel disconnected, abandoned, and unwanted.
The Effort Of Many
For a child in foster care they will experience the generosity, the love, the care, and the effort of many people. A single kid in care could have come into contact with as many as a dozen individuals working for that child’s well-being. This could be a social worker, a receiving care family, foster parents, a lawyer, a judge, a CASA, biological parents, support services, a non-profit care worker, prospective adoptive parents, and even foster care support families. All of these are people ideally working for the betterment of the kid in care. Plain and simple, foster care is the best example of what it looks like when communities come together to meet a felt need.
Many of these individuals are seen but there are unseen forces all working towards the betterment and support of a kid in care. It is a broad acknowledgment that it takes the entire work of civil society to properly meet the needs of those around us. A unique understanding that while the government can do much to provide safety nets, it is only fully possible by the support of a community of people around it.
Why must so many come around this need for foster care? Because the issue is nuanced. Each child’s story is played out differently. Each child’s needs must be addressed at a human level. Their stories do not always fit on a spreadsheet or plan of action. Instead, the support systems that will lead to their success are best kept in the hands of those able to adapt and care.
Four Organizations Leading To One Goal
There are so many stories and organizations at play to keep the system working the way intended.
Organizations like that of Connection Homes, who provide necessary mentoring and support to children experiencing brokenness.
Or that of Foster Care Alliance who respond to the needs of the many single mom’s dealing with issues keeping them from properly caring for their child. These mothers desire to do well for their children but lack the skills or understanding to do so.
And what about the foster family? Nearly 50 percent of foster parents quit within one year of taking on the role in the US. That is why organizations like Project 686 are working to support foster care families – giving resources necessary to carry on.
Then there are groups like Faithbridge Foster Care who meet the needs of the child by connecting local churches to local kids in the foster system. This ensures that the community connection of that child stays intact.
Four very different organizations, working toward one goal…wholeness of the child.
Celebrating Those Who Care
As we close out May and foster care awareness month in the US, we are reminded of the many people who voluntarily reach out to provide a holistic approach of restoring children. Individuals who are compelled purely by love to care for those around them. This often is in stark contrast to the selfish picture painted by some about society. The truth is there are millions willing to ensure that all people are taken care of. It is those who step up who show the true morality of its people and create strong communities.
We here at the Georgia Center for Opportunity have highlighted groups and individuals that have shown this compassion. Groups that identified a need and responded in kind. When we discuss civil society, these individuals come to mind. They show us what true morality looks like.