MAY IS NATIONAL FOSTER CARE MONTH! Here are some opportunities to share the positive energies of our regional Faith Communities Coalition on Foster Care people who are collaborating together to make those villages to raise all of our cherished children:
Tuesday, May 1, 5:00-7:00 pm.
Heart of Detroit FCC held in conjunction with Fellowship Chapel's Adoption and Foster Care Outreach at Fellowship Chapel, 7707 West Outer Drive, Detroit, Mi, 48219. Berlinda Good, coordinator, firstname.lastname@example.org
Theme: National Foster Care Month. Presentations by Judge Frank Syzmanski, Juvenile Court and Kim Jones DHHS JET (Judicial Engagement Team) Parenting Program
"I think this forum can be a vital and critical link to help return children home... for foster families in Wayne County", said the event's host, Attorney Berlinda Good. "In addition to the seasoned and knowledgeable panel we will have resource tables manned by various Adoption Agencies and the Michigan Adoption Resource Exchange, MARE", Good added. She also pointed out that the event will explain how we need the Churches and volunteers from the community to supervise family visits set up at Greater Grace thru 3rdJudicial Circuit Court. All Wayne County child welfare agencies are invited to come and display materials and hand-outs.
Monday, May 14, 2018, 6:30 p.m.
Western Wayne/Oakland County FCC First Presbyterian Church, 701 Church St, Plymouth, MI 48170 Contact: Peggy Fisher-Kmieciak, email@example.com; Sheila Henderson, firstname.lastname@example.org. Airika Buford and students from Wayne State University's successful program, Transitioning into Independence, (T.I.P.) for students who have experienced foster care will share experiences and ways we can help support them.
Tuesday, May 15, 6:30 pm.
Macomb County FCC Region, Renewal Church 11174 E. Thirteen Mile Rd., Warren, 48088. Meets the third Tuesday every other month. Contacts: Pastor Wayne Stapleton, email@example.com. Susan Foster, firstname.lastname@example.org Speaker: Wayne County Juvenile Deputy Court Administrator Richard Smart
May TBD 2018.
Northern Michigan FCC, First Presbyterian Church of Gaylord, 513 Charles Brink Road, Gaylord, 49735. Golf Outing at Graying Country Club. Date to be announced. For information contact Lori Hunt 989-370-6831, Marc Morrell 989-395-2144, or Donna Mooney 989-798-4762.
Also, here are some concrete ways that YOU can help promote MAY AS NATIONAL FOSTER CARE MONTH:
Did you know that there are 13,000 children in Michigan currently in foster care? Many have found safe places to stay. Yet there are some 4000 children and youth who have urgent needs. They need stable, loving care and relationships with a nurturing adult. No matter how much time you have to give, you have the power to do something positive that will change a lifetime for a young person in foster care or who is aging out of the system.
As Mother Teresa has claimed, "Very few people can do great things, but each of us can do something with great love." During the month of May we anticipate the great good that will come from members and friends finding that one something to share with great love. Together, with other congregations, this will make a significant impact to alleviate the suffering of our most invisible, voiceless and vulnerable children. If every congregation would take responsibility for just one child, our foster care crisis can be solved.
Here are some ideas to help promote May as Foster Care Month in your local congregations. And organizations. See the Faith Communities on Foster Care Coalition articles on www.faithcommunitiescoalition.org for a list of Care Kits, donation drive items, and additional ideas.
Week One of May: Launching May as Foster Care Month: Who are the foster kids in Michigan? How many? Put a face on foster care: Invite a foster youth or foster care worker to share a moment for mission. Include current statistics or stories.
Congregational challenge: Chose a child waiting for a forever family off of the MARE web site to pray for during the month of May (www.mare.org): Check to see who foster or adoptive parents in your own congregation are. Start your own foster/adoptive parents conversation group.
Week Two of May: What act of concrete care can I do to make the life of a foster youth better?
Congregational challenge: Fill Care kits for foster kids. See suggested templates. Attach list to bags distributed after the service-or have a sign-up sheet for specific articles.
Week Three of May: What's involved with being a foster parent/grandparent/tutor/mentor??
Hold an informational gathering on ways of personal involvement from volunteering to supervise foster kids while parents meet, tutoring, foster/adoptive parenting, mentoring, becoming respite foster parents/grandparents. Contact your local service agency to arrange for a speakers and meeting time.
Week Four of May: Dedication and blessing of care kits and those who receive them. Wrap up month of praying for one child by including their names during prayers of the people. Display the collected items and offer a prayer of blessing for the donations and those who will receive them.