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Foster and Adoption Ministries

Making the Connection

Join the Network of churches who are committed to connecting children in need to churches and families who care! Being a Connect 1:27 church gives you access to resources, training, speakers and specialists at the Louisiana Baptist Children's Home to assist you in building and maintaining a ministry for foster children and their families right in your own community!

Why Join Connect 1:27

If your church already has an orphan care ministry, we would love to add you to our network! Let us know what your church is doing for children and families in need. Your church will be added to the Connect 1:27 Network of Churches! We will send you a free copy of Fields and Fatherless by Tom Davis, and you will receive the monthly Connect 1:27 E-Newsletter.

Get Involved- Join the Connect 1:27 Network

Adoption Options

Just as Christians are adopted into the family of God, Scripture is clear that God desires His children to care for orphans. There are many ways to care for orphans of the world and one is through adoption.
"Adoption is the method by law to establish the legal and social relationship of parents and children between persons who are not related by birth with the mutual rights and obligations that exist between children and their birth parents." (Source: Louisiana Department of Children and Families 2011)

TYPES OF ADOPTION

U.S. Foster Care Adoption
There are an estimated 500,000 children in foster care in the United States, and approximately 135,000 of these children are available for adoption. Children vary in age and have been placed in foster care, at no fault of their own, for a number of reasons including neglect, abuse, and abandonment. Most of these dear children have endured tremendous pain and need a family of their own to love and support them with the unconditional love of our Savior. The adoption of a child from the U.S. foster care system usually occurs through a state's child welfare agency or a private foster care agency.

Domestic Adoption
In domestic adoption, the birth parents have chosen to place the child for adoption. Domestic adoption is facilitated by a licensed adoption agency or private attorney that specializes in local or U.S. adoptions. Adoption through an agency is a regulated and supervised process, and the agency takes care of most of the details.

International Adoption
International adoptions involve children in foreign countries who live in an orphanage or are in foster care within that country.
International adoption is generally facilitated through an agency with expertise in adoption through specific countries.
International adoption is governed by both U.S. law and the laws of the child's birth country.
The laws on international adoption vary widely from country to country and can often change. It is therefore important to work with an experienced agency with a track record of successful adoptions from a given country.

Foster Care

FOSTER CARE IN LOUISIANA

In Louisiana, there are over 4,000 children in foster care on any given day. The children range in age from birth to seventeen and are of different races and backgrounds. Children are in foster care because of abuse, neglect or other family situations because it is not safe for the children to remain in their homes. Because it is best for children to live in a family setting, there is an ongoing need for loving and safe foster homes. While homes for all ages and types of children are needed, there is a great need of homes for teenagers, sibling groups and children with special needs including physical, emotional or behavioral disabilities.

Louisiana Department of Children & Family Services and Louisiana Baptist Children's Home Partnership

Louisiana Department of Children & Family Services (DCFS) looks for loving, safe and stable homes for children that must live in foster care. LBCH, a licensed child-placing agency, understands the tremendous need for foster and adoptive homes in Louisiana and has entered into a partnership with DCFS to assist with recruitment and support of foster homes throughout the faith-based community. Services provided by LBCH may vary in different regions of the state based upon availability of LBCH staff, but includes recruitment of foster/adoptive families within the faith-based community, presenting foster/adoptive parent orientation, assisting with foster parent training, conducting home studies of prospective foster/adoptive families, certifying and maintaining foster/adoptive families and providing voluntary placement support services to foster/adoptive families.

THE NEED FOR FOSTER CARE AND ADOPTION

The Louisiana Department of Children & Families (DCFS) is the state agency mandated by law to investigate allegations of abuse and neglect by parents or caretakers of children. Children come to the attention of DCFS because of concerns from a teacher, police officer, family member, friend, doctor, neighbor concerned citizen or mandated reporter. Anyone can make a referral if they suspect a child has been abused or neglected. Referrals that meet the criteria for a report of child abuse or neglect will be investigated. If DCFS finds a family needs help, every effort is made to provide services to help the family resolve their problem and prevent the removal of the children from their home. Only if reasonable efforts fail, will the agency seek authorization from the court to remove the child or children from their family.

WHAT IS FOSTER CARE?

Foster care is a protective service for children and their parents who must live apart because of child abuse, neglect or special family circumstances requiring the need for out-of-home care. Foster care is intended to provide temporary care for a child. The goal of the foster care program is to maintain the child in a safe and nurturing environment while assisting his parents or caretakers in resuming responsibility and custody or until an alternative permanent placement (usually adoption) for the child is found if he cannot return to his biological family. The first goal of foster care is to reunite the child with his biological family-this process is called reunification. DCFS works to locate relatives to support the birth family during reunification efforts and who are willing to care for the child while the agency works towards reunification. If relatives are not a placement option for the children, DCFS places children in certified foster homes.

WHAT IS ADOPTION?

Adoption is the method provided by law to establish the legal and social relationship of parents and children between persons who are not related by birth with the mutual rights and obligations that exist between children and their birth parents. Adoption is a permanency goal of the foster care system within DCFS. Should there be no relatives committed to adopt, foster parents caring for the child are usually given first choice to adopt the child.

WHAT DO FOSTER/ADOPTIVE PARENTS DO?

Foster parents provide for the daily care needs of the child, in a safe and stable family-like environment. Foster parents work with DCFS to assist in achieving permanency for the child either through reunification or adoption. Foster parenting comes with some challenges. The child has a different history and may even be of a different race than the foster family. Some fostering is very temporary. The child may come and go quickly from the family unit. Foster parents do not possess all parental rights and responsibilities of a birth parent and must work cooperatively with the birth parents and the agency to care for the child. The foster family must open their home to agency staff and share personal information with the social worker, including reporting changes in the family's circumstances.

Once a child has been adopted, the adoptive parent is considered the child's legal parent and possesses all the same rights and responsibilities as any parent. It is a relationship that lasts a lifetime. Once the child is adopted, the agency is no longer involved and the adoptive parents make all decisions for the child.

What are the steps to becoming a foster/adoptive parent?

Families interested in becoming foster/adoptive parents must go through a certification process including training, background checks and a home study. Applicants must be at least 21 years of age, have sufficient income to meet their own basic needs, and be in good physical, emotional and mental health. A Foster/Adoptive parent can be single, married, divorced, or widowed. Foster/Adoptive parent applicants must be committed to provide the child with positive forms of discipline and cannot use physical punishment of any kind.

FOSTER/ADOPTIVE CERTIFICATION PROCESS:

  1. Orientation - Informational meeting to provide an overview of the agency and the foster/adoption programs.
  2. Application - Complete and submit an application packet including personal identification information, family profile information, and reference list.
  3. Criminal and Agency Clearance - Every applicant and household member 18 years and older must be fingerprinted for the purposes of criminal clearance. An agency clearance is also completed on all household members 18 years and older. If someone has resided in another state or country within the last 5 years, clearances must also be obtained for those places of residence.
  4. Pre-Service Training - Training generally consists of 21 class hours of training and 9 hours of homework. All spouses must complete pre-service training for the family to be certified as foster/adopt parents. Children are not allowed at training.
  5. Home Study - During training, a social worker will conduct a series of interviews, home visits, a safety and fire inspection and obtain required documentation. During the certification process the social worker will explore with the family what ages, gender, races, number and types of children they are able to care for and will make a recommendation for certification.
  6. Placement - Only after a family is certified can a child or children be placed in the home. This may happen immediately or may take longer, depending on the age and type of child for which the family is certified. The agency makes every effort to place children with a family that best matches the family's strengths and preferences. A family has the right to refuse any placement should they feel they cannot meet the child's needs.

FOSTER PARENTING ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES

Foster Parents have many different roles and responsibilities when caring for the child, working with the agency and supporting the child's birth family. These include:

Provides for the daily care of the child

Ensures continued growth and development of the child

Builds a positive, supportive relationship with the child's family

Works in collaboration with the social worker, other professionals and agency as part of the team

Follows Louisiana DCFS licensing guidelines for family foster homes

What is the next step to foster/adopt?

If you are interested in becoming a Foster/Adoptive parent, the first step is to attend an orientation session where you will learn about the certification process, the children needing care and requirements for foster/adoptive parent certification. If you like what you hear and are ready to proceed with certification, you will be invited to the pre-service training.
To learn more about foster parenting or to attend an orientation in your area, contact Louisiana Baptist Children's Home @318.343.2244.

Resources

Visit Louisiana Heart Gallery
https://www.louisianaheartgallery.com/

A Lesson About Foster Care and Adoption
http://www.connect127.org/BibleLessons/LessonBy_DavidJennings.pdf

Working With Children after a Natural Disaster by Marissa Wilson, LMSW

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Your gift provides love, care, and hope in Christ for children and families in need. 79% of all funding comes from individuals and churches. We receive no state or federal funding. All gifts are tax-deductible and greatly appreciated.

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PO Box 4196
Monroe, Louisiana 71211

7200 DeSiard Street
Monroe, Louisiana 71203

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