Last month, over 2,000 people came together for 4KIDS’ biggest gathering of world-changers yet, Advocate 4KIDS! Featuring a live performance by Christian artist Jimmy Needham, and an inspiring message from motivational speaker Nick Vujicic, it was a night many will never forget. Together, businesses, churches and passionate individuals from six different counties discovered how they can make a difference for children in foster care. All those in attendance were empowered to believe that it only takes one person to redefine a child’s future and leave a life-changing impact for generations to come.
Since 1988, May has been recognized annually as National Foster Care Month in the United States. This year, 4KIDS is propelling the momentum gained at Advocate 4KIDS and using this month to educate the community on the foster care crisis happening right here in our own backyards. Here is the reality of the foster care epidemic in South Florida.
Every day in our community, 6 to 10 kids are being removed from their homes due to abuse, abandonment or neglect. When no family or friends are able to take them in, these kids end up in the foster care system. Due to no fault of their own, these children are separated from the only family they have ever known and faced with an uncertain future. Because of the lack of foster homes in our area, many kids have to switch schools and may even be separated from their brothers and sisters.
Between January and March of this year, 4KIDS had to turn away, on average, 85 of these children each month simply because there were no homes available for them.
The 4KIDS community is devastated that these kids had to go to group shelters or be placed with other agencies, instead of being able to stay with a loving Christian foster family. Though the Lord has a plan for each of their lives, we know that the best chance we could ever give a child in crisis is the opportunity to be a part of a family who loves them. When we consider God’s call to care for ‘orphans’ many of us may be thinking of children far away, but kids who need a home and a family are right here in our neighborhoods — they are Close to Home.
The local church is the answer to this crisis happening Close To Home. If just one out of every 265 Christian families across South Florida opened their homes to children in foster care, there would be no kids waiting in shelters or in need of a loving home. Within our grasp is the power to change the face of foster care in South Florida and become a successful model that could alter child welfare systems all across the country. If not us, then who?
This National Foster Care Month, join 4KIDS and create more loving families for kids who need them. Here are two ways that you can do that today:
1.Pray about becoming a foster parent.
2.Give your best gift to help recruit and equip more foster families.
By doing one of these two things, you are breaking generational cycles of abuse and neglect in our community, and providing hope, homes, and healing to kids in crisis. To learn more, please visit 4KIDS.us.