What is a FAM?
What is a FAM?
Over 140 million children are considered orphans in the world, and 400,000 of those children reside in the US. The life of a child in foster care carries many peaks and troughs as well as unforeseen risks. These children frequently bounce around from foster home to foster home, experiencing the trauma of constant change and unpredictability.
Promise686 is dedicated to the promise God makes in Psalm 68:6 to “set the lonely in families.” Time spent in foster care can be a troubling and tumultuous experience for the vulnerable children placed into it and we long to turn that into one full of comfort, love, and stability. The biggest way we accomplish this is through a step-by-step model called Family Advocacy Ministries or FAMs.
Promise686 implements FAMs to help bring about a positive impact in the lives of vulnerable children by:
- Recruiting & equipping families to care for at-risk kids
- Serving foster & adoptive families, and biological families in crisis
- Advocating on behalf of families and vulnerable children
- Ministering to families and meeting physical, emotional, and spiritual needs
Promise provides the training, resources, and guidance needed to empower churches to set up and maintain successful FAMs.
FAMs focus on three different goals in order to join God’s promise to “set the lonely in families.”
The first goal is prevention.
Promise seeks to prevent children from entering the child welfare system by preserving biological families. Through Care Communities and the CarePortal platform, local churches and their FAMs are able to see and meet the needs of biological families in crisis. Oftentimes this means delivering simple items like a bed or groceries, babysitting while parents are at work, or other ways of supporting families. Filling a gap identified by a social worker can mean the difference between a child staying at home or entering the foster care system.
The second goal is intervention.
When the state does intervene in a child’s life, we believe it’s time for the Church to intervene. Promise686 and our church partners are not equipped to determine whether a family is a good fit for fostering or adoption. That’s up to the state. What we can and should do, however, is come around our local foster and adoptive families to provide a support system.
Being a foster parent or foster family is a tough and demanding job; but with FAMs, these foster families know they are not alone as they take on this impactful challenge. In fact, the national average of families who continue fostering after their first year is about 50%, but when supported by a FAM and its Care Communities, 90% continue fostering into a second year.
The third goal is connection.
Above all else, Promise wants to see every child in a safe, loving family, forever. Sometimes this can mean seeing children reconnect with their biological families and many times, when this is the case, Promise686 and its partner churches aim to continue supporting those families. In many cases, we see FAMs go from supporting foster families to supporting biological families once reunification takes place.
Other times, we see children connect with families through adoption. Promise686 provides adoption grants and resources for families looking to adopt. By decreasing the financial burden of adoption and maximizing families’ education on how to care for an adopted child, more parents are able to give vulnerable children a permanent home.
Promise686 uses FAMs not to govern local churches’ support of the foster care system, but rather to mobilize partnering churches to go into their communities and care for the vulnerable children in their neighborhoods and cities. With over 400,000 vulnerable children in need of homes and over 300,000 churches in America, if each church raised up just one foster family supported by a FAM, we could provide and sustain loving homes for every child in need.
Would you like to learn more about bringing a Family Advocacy Ministry to your church? Fill out the form on this page to talk with someone at Promise686!