Expansion of Family Support Ministry offers adoptive families monthly community
2016 OCA Ministry Vision: OCA Connect groups are spread throughout the local regions in Kentucky.These groups aim to provide a safe place for adoptive and foster families to talk about the struggles and joys of caring for their children.
Watch to find out how Family Support supports families in Kentucky!
One of the ministries of OCA is Family Support and it is a much needed part of the OCA strategy. Ten years ago as families entered into adoption, most thought the struggle was getting through the process. But for many families, that was the easy part.
Very few were familiar or anticipated the pain, the hurt, the lack of nurturing, and sometimes the amount of abuse a child had experienced before coming to be a part of a family. The result was a variety of behaviors and actions by the children that most did not recognize as something significant, and often times, parents did not know how to deal with these behaviors.
It was from the feedback in the adoption and foster care communities that OCA’s Family Support ministry was born. One of the specific elements is OCA Connect groups, the first of which started three years ago at Calvary Christian Center in Jeffersontown, Kentucky
Oldham County OCA Connect Group meets monthly to discuss parenting topics.
OCA Connect groups are very meaningful to families who care for kids from hard places. OCA has received requests to initiate more of them, and by 2016 there will be 5 of them from Southern Indiana to Frankfort, Kentucky.
Family Support trains and equips families in many additional ways beyond support groups. Training is provided through Empowered to Connect Conferences and through the annual Help, Hope, Heal Conference. This ministry also meets physical needs of kinship & foster families caring for infants and young children through the Care Closets in Kentucky and southern Indiana. Care Packs are provided to children entering foster care, as well, and 100 kinship children are supported with Christmas gifts each year.
Looking ahead to 2016, we will continue to walk through the doors that open, as we stay focused on the vision and mission of OCA. We will we do our best to serve where there are needs that no one else is meeting. Right now, we believe those opportunities lie in 1) a respite program for kinship families, 2) expansion of the Lexington hub, as activity grows beyond our volunteer base, and 3) touching more children in Jefferson county and southern Indiana with existing ministries.
OCA does not receive government funding. Most of our ability to operate comes from individual donors. I pray that you will join Stacia and I as donors and as volunteers to serve in obedience as James challenges us in verse 1:27, “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”
Darren & Stacia Washausen