Orphan Care Alliance (OCA) is working in Kentucky and Southern Indiana to equip church congregations to bring their passion and skills to make a difference in the lives of families and children in the foster and adoption community.
OCA’s #1 need in order to provide greater community impact is more volunteers. Yes, we will always need financial support to organize our ministries and operate, but impacting lives is best done with volunteers, foster parents, and adoptive parents.
The Church Is Needed In The Kentucky Foster Care System
Due to various contributing factors, the number of children in foster care in Kentucky recently surpassed 9,000. Our government is doing several things to combat this increase and is working on various areas of the system to improve the situation, but they cannot do it alone.
In fact, the church is needed now more than ever. I predict that if the church doesn’t take action, the children in care will quickly cross 10,000 children in Kentucky’s foster care system over the next few years.
Why the church? From my perspective as the Executive Director, the answer here is easy. Christians can provide an unconditional, loving relationship to those who need their support. This relationship could be with a family trying to prevent children from entering foster care, children in the foster care system, adoptive parents who are taking on the challenge of raising children who have seen more trauma than most adults, or grandparents working to raise their grandchildren.
Relationships, not programs
Love, not things
These are what really matter.
I have seen many vulnerable families and children in foster care experience the love of Christ through OCA volunteers. While they are untrusting at first, genuine relationships begin to form and the sincerity of the volunteers begins to prevail, which can be seen in our blog Safe Harbor: God Shows Up On Time, Every Time. On top of trust issues, change is slow; in fact, you may not see it in your time with our clients.
Today, we see the number of children in foster care going higher and higher. We also know that 75% of foster children who age out of the system become incarcerated, homeless, or die. These children lead trauma-filled lives that they didn’t ask for and if we don’t step in and change the trajectory for these children with love and relationships, the upward trends will continue.
Engagement doesn’t mean everyone fosters or adopts, but it does mean that everyone should find their place in caring for the lives of another. I hope that you and your church will contact OCA and allow us to equip you to engage.