There is a foster care crisis in Floyd County. With more than 300 children in care and only 45 approved foster homes, Floyd County ranks among the worst in the state for out of county placements. More than 65 percent of those taken into care are transferred to homes in other counties increasing their trauma and decreasing opportunities for reunification.
The Restoration Rome Center for Foster Care Services, along with several other children’s service agencies, is hosting a gathering of anyone interested in foster parenting or serving foster families, April 5, 6:30 p.m. at the Forum River Center in Rome. The event will feature Bishop Aaron Blake, founder of the Stand Sunday movement, along with current foster families, community leaders, and an exhibit area of children’s support agencies.
“There are many families in our community with a passion to help hurting children, however, the decision to become a foster family can be overwhelming. Homes of Hope is an opportunity for anyone to learn more about becoming a foster family, finding support for your foster family, or just signing up to serve foster families,” said Mary Margaret Mauer, Co-Founder, Restoration Rome.
“It’s not easy to take those first steps and put yourself in a position to accept a child into your home, but the results are life changing. We are excited for our community to see that no foster family in Floyd County has to stand alone. There is a growing network of families and agencies actively supporting each other and changing the way we do foster care together.”
Everyone is invited. Through the support of generous sponsors and partnering agencies, Homes of Hope is a free admission event. “We want anyone with any interest in foster care to join us,” said Mauer. “We will share information and inspiration, but mostly we want people to see that there are leaders in our community committed to addressing this crisis and supporting our foster families as walk through the foster care system and learn to live well with a foster child in their home.”
Guest speaker, Bishop Aaron Blake of the Greater Faith Community Church of Brownwood, Texas, began the Stand Sunday movement with a passionate call for his congregation to stand with him and open their homes to the foster children of their community. Over the next decade, this faithful church of less than 200 members became family to scores of children previously living in the foster care system, and Brown County became one of the only counties in Texas with more foster homes than children needing placement. As the movement grew stronger, agency and state leaders took note.
Bishop Blake, along with his wife Mary launched Harvest Family Life Ministry in 2003. They have been successful in sharing their message community collaboration to meet the needs of children from prevention to permanency. Through this model of teaching and recruitment, they have helped find homes for many children throughout Texas and other states.
Families interested in attending Home of Hope can find more information and register at www.restorationrome.org, or call 706-528-4033. Foster care families and advocates can also request promotional materials to share with their churches or businesses by emailing email@example.com.