Foster Care Christian Collaborative

The Foster Care Christian Collaborative is a grassroots effort in Brevard County activating church-wide partnerships to care for vulnerable children who are at risk, in, or exiting foster care, as well as those children becoming legally available for adoption.

OUR GOAL is to present unified and clear information regarding foster care to Brevard’s churches and to provide on-ramps to action.

This goal encompasses:

  • reducing the number of kids entering care and needing out-of-home care
  • improving the foster care experience for kids and families
  • a home or support system for every child (up to 25 years old)
  • breaking the generational cycle that exists in foster care

Connect With A Partnering Organization!

Prevention

CarePortal is a technology platform that connects the needs of vulnerable children and families through social workers to local participating churches, giving churches a real-time opportunity to respond. CarePortal is managed in Brevard County by Get Too Attached.

Contact: Bonnie Ferguson, bonnie@gettooattached.com

Opportunities for the Church:

  • Receive email communications with real-time needs of children at risk of coming into foster care, children reunifying with their parents, and children in relative/non-relative care through CarePortal.


Safe Families for Children surrounds families in crisis with a caring, compassionate community of trained church volunteers, with the goal of keeping children safe and families together. Safe Families for Children mobilizes the church to serve our neighbors with radical hospitality, disruptive generosity, and intentional compassion.

Contact: Jessica Ray, Safe Families Church Engagement Coordinator, jray@safefamilies.net

Opportunities for the Church:

  • Host a Safe Families 101
  • Identify a Ministry Lead
  • Volunteer as a Host Family, Family Friend, Family Coach, or Resource Friend

Brevard C.A.R.E.S. is a family-centered, strength-based, and community-driven model for child abuse prevention and family preservation. The program’s unique “Wraparound” approach and Family Team Conferencing offer services and support to families experiencing stressors that could lead to abuse, neglect, or abandonment.

Contact: Christine Williams-Kelly, Clinical Services Development Manager, christine.williams-kelly@brevardcares.org

Opportunities for the Church:

  • Report suspicion of child abuse at 1-800-962-2873
  • Help prevent child abuse and neglect by donating to the organization.

Love In the Name of Christ of Brevard mobilizes the Church to walk with people in need physically, spiritually, emotionally, and relationally thus strengthening the families who are at risk of losing their children.

Contact: Megan Starnes, Operations Coordinator, mstarnes@loveincbrevard.com

Opportunities for the Church:

  • Refer a family experiencing hardship to Love INC to receive wrap-around care.
  • Volunteer as a client mentor to work one-on-one with clients through relational life coaching.

Recruit and retain

The Florida Guardian ad Litem Office represents Florida’s abused, abandoned, and neglected children in the court and community. Through the collaboration of a multidisciplinary team that includes an attorney, a trained volunteer, and a certified child advocate manager, our team provides quality legal representation for children’s best interests while assisting the child in expressing their needs and wishes.

Contact: Cynthia Rickerd, Volunteer Recruiter, Cynthia.Rickerd@gal.fl.gov

Opportunities for the Church:

  • Volunteer as a child advocate for a child that has been removed from their home.
  • Advocate for the well-being of a child in foster care as a Guardian ad Litem volunteer.

Brevard Family Partnership (BFP) is the lead child welfare agency responsible for the safety, stability, and well-being of abused, neglected, or abandoned children in Brevard County. JUST ONE is an initiative of BFP to partner with faith-based organizations to find quality foster homes for children. If every Brevard church included JUST ONE foster family, the love and support needed for every child entering foster care would be provided.

Contact: LaChrista Jones, Director of Licensing/Programs, LaChrista.Jones@brevardfp.org

Opportunities for the Church:

  • Become a foster or adoptive parent.
  • Donate or Volunteer

Get Too Attached is an organization formed by foster families to build community support through awareness, education, and involvement and to advocate for local foster parents and the children in their care. We partner with faith communities to organize foster parent appreciation and support events, teach trauma awareness, serve practical needs, and provide wrap-around care to foster families. We believe that while not everyone can foster, everyone can do something!

Contact: Bonnie Ferguson, Founder & Director, bonnie@gettooattached.com

Opportunities for the Church:

  • Host a Foster Parent Night Out and give foster parents a much-needed break.
  • Join our WRAP ministry where teams of 10-15 people wrap around a single foster family to provide childcare, meals, prayer, encouragement, and other support.
  • Meet tangible needs by organizing a collection for foster families.
  • Support GTA’s ongoing programs (Uplift Brevard Foster Families peer support groups, Game Night in a Box for new foster parents, and Case Management Connection) through financial or in-kind donations.
  • Organize or sponsor a quarterly family fun event for foster families.
  • Provide training to your children’s ministry staff and volunteers in trauma-informed care.
  • Teach your congregation about God’s heart for foster care and adoption.
  • Work with us to build a ministry that utilizes the gifts and talents of your congregation. Maybe your church has a group of mechanics who want to do free quarterly oil changes for foster families, or a group of woodworkers who want to start a bed-building ministry, or a group of quilters who want to make quilts for kids in care, or a group of cooks who want to start a frozen dinner ministry? … there are as many ideas as there are people. If you have an idea, let us know, and we’ll work on building it together!

One More Child provides Christ-centered services to vulnerable children and struggling families, locally and globally, to meet urgent needs and offer lasting hope.

Opportunities for the Church:

  • Become a licensed foster parent
  • Develop a Foster Crew ministry at your church to mobilize church members to walk alongside foster families on their adventures. We train you and walk alongside you to share what we have learned through decades of caring for foster families. We help you mobilize volunteers to provide foster families with necessities as well as the support and encouragement they desperately need to do what God has called them to do.

Aging out & adoption

Brevard Family Partnership (BFP) is the lead child welfare agency responsible for the safety, stability, and well-being of abused, neglected, or abandoned children in Brevard County. JUST ONE is an initiative of BFP to partner with faith-based organizations to find quality foster homes for children. If every Brevard church included JUST ONE foster family, the love and support needed for every child entering foster care would be provided.

Contact: LaChrista Jones, Director of Licensing/Programs, LaChrista.Jones@brevardfp.org

Opportunities for the Church:

  • Learn about the adoption process.
  • Become an adoptive parent.

WAYS for Life (WAYS), formerly known as Ready for Life Brevard, is a solution-based skills center supporting youth ages 15-25 in homelessness and crime prevention. In a unique therapeutic environment, WAYS offers wraparound services to youth who are unaccompanied or aging out of foster care. WAYS partners with local churches in a variety of ways, including mentoring, emergency housing, program volunteers for the WAYS food pantry, clothing closet, GED program, events, activities and more.

Contact: Pam Bress, Executive Director, Ways For Life, pam.bress@waysforlife.org

Opportunities for the Church:

  • Volunteer as a WAYS Coach. WAYS Coaches help youth aging out of foster care develop real workplace soft skills and navigate their employment path. WAYS Coaches also provide mentorship and assistance in establishing economic stability, education, a support network, healthcare, and basic life needs/skills.
  • Employers: Provide employment and train our youth to be great employees and an asset to your team and industry.

For over 30 years, Camelot Community Care has been serving children and families experiencing abuse, neglect, behavioral health, and substance abuse issues. As a Non-Profit charitable organization, we accomplish our mission of enabling children and families to realize their fullest potential by stopping the cycle of abuse and neglect in families and in our community. No child should have to recover from their childhood, and you can join us in keeping children safe and creating a bright future for our most important resource.

Contact: Kristin Pirozzi, Post Adoption Coordinator, kpirozzi@camelotcommunitycare.org

Opportunities for the Church:

  • Become a foster or adoptive parent.
  • Support a foster or adoptive family.
  • Provide advocacy, emotional support, and a variety of enrichment opportunities for the children and youth in our care as a volunteer.
  • Youth Mentor Partners: for those volunteers who are interested in mentoring as Camelot volunteers, completed a specialized application, have cleared a background check, and have completed a mentorship training requirement.

Learn more

Have a question about the Foster Care Christian Collaborative or Love INC’s involvement in this initiative? Please contact Megan Starnes at mstarnes@loveincbrevard.com.