Meeting needs is a simple way to care for vulnerable children and families, whether providing tangible items or providing relational support.
OCA offers numerous avenues for you to serve families in crisis and care for youth in need of extra support. Each gift of time or treasure is a lasting impact of Christ-like love for a child in need.
OCA Gateway is an online portal that connects churches to needs in their zip code in effort to preserve and strengthen families at risk of State intervention and child removal. When a need is entered into the online system, registered churches within the zip code will be notified and can respond saying they will meet the need.
OCA Gateway exists to keep biological families together by meeting physical needs of families in crisis. This could be as simple as providing a bed for a child or could it could be a task that requires labor, such as fixing a leaky roof. OCA Gateway is an easy way for you to rally around vulnerable children and families in your own neighborhood. To get your church involved in OCA Gateway, contact us.
Kids’ Care Closet
The Kids’ Care Closet began in 2010 with the purpose of providing supplies to kinship families and children entering foster care by the Cabinet for Health and Family Services. Diapers, baby lotion and children’s clothing were sprawled throughout Kentuckiana at multiple locations including an office cubicle, donated storage space and a volunteer’s dining room. Today, the Kids’ Care Closet has consolidated in the basement of OCA home office on North Watterson Trail in Louisville, Kentucky.
The Kids’ Care Closet exists to make the transition into new care smoother for children and families. From Kids’ Care Packs for children entering foster care to meeting specific needs of new kinship and OCA Families placements, the Kids’ Care Closet supports families in transition.
The closet includes childhood necessities such as clothing to size 5T, diapers to size 5, wipes, stuffed animals, crayons and coloring books, baby bottles, blankets and bibs, among other items.
Want to donate? The Kids’ Care Closet always welcomes gently used or new items. Donations can be brought to the OCA office at 115 N. Watterson Trail between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. Pick-up can be arranged by calling the OCA office at 502-498-4765.
When crisis strikes, many of us rely on family or our church community to provide the extra support we need during a hard season. Without supports like these in place, circumstances can quickly become debilitating and lead to abuse, neglect or child welfare intervention when the family foundation is rocky.
OCA Families equips compassionate volunteers to come alongside a family in crisis and create a community of people to help them in a time of need. Placing parents legally maintain full custody, and Christian families care for the children in their homes, typically for about 30 days. Ultimately, the parents navigate the crisis with a new community of support and the family is reunified without child welfare intervention.
Together we can…
✓ Share the love of Christ in a tangible way
✓ Prevent child abuse and neglect
✓ Keep families together long-term
✓ Offer hope and extend grace to a family in need
✓ Be the change we wish to see in the world
You can wrap around a family in crisis by offering care as…
- A Family Friend – volunteers walk with the biological parent through their crisis to help them gain stability.
- A Host Family – volunteer families open their home temporarily to provide safety and stability to a child.
- A Family Coach – volunteers support the host family and form a relationship with the children in their care.
Let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth. 1 John 3:18
When God’s people are in need, be ready to help them. Always be eager to practice hospitality. Romans 10:13
Often families stand alongside youth as they make their transition into adulthood and continue to discover who they are and who they want to be. But if you are an aging out foster youth, you don’t have the support that is critical to navigating young adulthood.
That’s where Life Coaches step in. Life Coaches are Christians that walk alongside an aging out foster youth or foster care alum, typically ages 12 – 21. Life Coaches help their mentee set goals as they teach basic life skills, personalized to the mentee’s needs. Often, life coaches are one of the only people that have invested in the lives’ of these youth without being paid, creating an excellent opportunity to display Christ-like love – freely given.
Become a Life Coach
- Attend 6-hours of training on topics such as the foster care system, trauma, attachment difficulties and mentoring youth
- Complete a background check (paid for by OCA)
- Complete an interview with OCA staff member
- Become matched to foster youth
Life Coach Expectations
- Meet with mentee one hour, once a week, for one year, initially outside the home
- Share the love of Christ
- Encourage the youth through the transition into adulthood
- Keep OCA updated about goal setting and achievement with mentee
What Life Coaches Don’t Do
- Financially support the young adult
- Have the young adult live in their home
- Become a parent to the young adult