Every week I have been inspired to write about something that I might have experienced in the field, or heard from a colleague, foster, parent, etc. This week, I wanted to touch on a sensitive topic I suppose, but I wanted to address it in a way that demonstrates the stance of Harbor of Hope when it comes to recruiting families to provide foster care.

Religion has had an important part in the foster care world, historically speaking. Mostly because a lot of religions mandate/encourage their congregations to take care of ‘orphans’. I was curious about that mandate, so my wonderful husband did a little digging for me and we found some wonderful information. Here is what some of the various religions say about caring for orphans:

Islam:
“The best of the houses is the house where an orphan gets love and kindness.’ -Prophet Muhammad

Buddhism:
“Helping one person might not change the world, but it could change the world for one person.”

Christian:
“If only 7 percent of the 2 billion Christians in the world would care for a single orphan in distress, there would effectively be no more orphans. If everybody would be willing to simply do something to care for one of these precious treasures, I think we would be amazed by just how much we could change the world.” – Steven Curtis Chapman

Christian/Jewish:
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. – James 1:27

Christian/Catholic:
“If you can’t feed 100 people, just feed 1.” -Mother Theresa

As I consider for a moment the various churches and denominations out there, you would be hard pressed to find a church out there that wouldn’t want to support a cause such as finding foster families to help foster children, especially in their community. I would be excited to partner with any church that share those values!!!

The difference between those agencies that define themselves as ‘faith-based’ and ‘non-faith based’ are not that great at all! The values are the same, the rules are the same.

I felt like it would be good to create a post that might help a foster parent decide about what type of agency they want to work with once they have decided to become a foster parent. Throughout my career I have worked for two faith-based organizations and worked with one non-faith-based organization. Now, there are lots and lots of foster care agencies out there, so I realize what I am about to write might not be entirely complete, but I am sure someone can shoot me an email to correct me!

I often speak of intent of the heart in some of my blog entries. If you are considering fostering a child what is the intent in your heart? Is it to help protect a child and give them a safe place to heal from the tragedy they might have experienced? Is it to impress upon them your own religious beliefs? Is it to elevate yourself for your own charitable contributions? Is it to ‘replace’ what was lost to you? I know this isn’t often a topic people like to think about; however, it MUST be considered. Harbor of Hope wants to work with families who heart’s intent is set on protecting kids and giving them a safe place to heal! (Regardless of religion, race, gender identity, or sexual orientation.)