Thousands of the most vulnerable children in our society have nowhere to call home. There are 6,000 children waiting to be adopted in the UK, and 9,000 more foster families are urgently needed.
The Church is uniquely placed to offer its help to meet this need. As a large social network with involvement of large numbers of families, the Church is fertile soil for recruitment. Once carers have been through the full process of assessment, the Church could provide an excellent community of support to wrap around families who are adopting or fostering children.
Home for Good is a national campaign which aims to make fostering and adoption a normal part of Church life.
In 2013, we put the message about fostering and adoption in front of 25,000 people at conferences and festivals, over 500 people have attended seminars and gatherings to explore how we can encourage and equip churches to be proactive in responding to the problem. More than 100 champions have signed up to be part of the campaign and 200 churches took part in the first ever national Adoption Sunday. Home for Good has been featured in more than a dozen Christian magazines and newspapers. And we’ve gained the support of leading figures in the Church of England such as Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, John Sentamu, the Archbishop of York and Richard Chartres, the Bishop of London.
In 2014, we plan to do even more! We will be producing video resources for churches to use on Mother’s Day (30 March) and Father’s Day (15 June). We will be identifying and equipping more champions and will push even harder to get more churches to take part in national Adoption Sunday 2014 (2 November). We will be visiting more Christian festivals and conferences, and towns and cities, urging churches to take action an make a difference to the lives of vulnerable children in their communities. And spurred on by the success of the Families for 40 campaign in Southampton, we will be working with local movements throughout the UK, that are bringing churches together to find adoptive families and foster carers in their area.
Here are three things your church could do to get involved in this important campaign:
- Commit to highlighting the issue of vulnerable children in the UK on either Mother’s Day, Father’s Day or Adoption Sunday.
- Speak to those in your church who have adopted and/or foster to find out if there is anything more the church could do to support them.
- Read the Home for Good book. It will both inspire and challenge you to think about how your church could help some of the most vulnerable children in the UK.