Promise686 is pleased to be recognized as a faith-based organization with an effective “grass roots” plan tailored to the specific foster care needs in our community, forging partnerships with local DFCS offices and positively impacting statistics by partnering with churches to provide quality foster homes for longer-term placements.
The Faith and Community Alliance in Georgia exists to enhance partnerships between state agencies and faith-based organizations as they each seek to come to the aid of those “experiencing tragedy, family issues or economic hardship.”
It Takes A Village to Improve Foster Care System – December 8, 2017, Gainesville Times Editorial Board, Hall County, GA
Children do not want a better family, they want their family to be better, a wise juvenile judge once said. Putting families back together is one of the primary goals of the foster care system. Putting families back together is hard when mom and dad are in Hall County and their children are living with a foster family hours away in South Georgia.
With 274 children in foster care in Hall County and just 63 foster homes to take care of them, the majority are placed with families outside of Hall. Complicating those numbers are the fact that private child placing agencies, for various reasons, often fill some of those 63 homes in Hall County with children from other counties.
In Hall County April 2016 to March 2017, 46 percent of foster children leaving DFCS custody were reunited with their families. That compares to a state average of 55 percent. Reunification is not always in the best interest of the children, but when possible, healing the entire family is a grand purpose.
Local nonprofit Supporting And Fostering Families Together and the juvenile court gathered numerous stakeholders at an hours long summit Nov. 30th.
Believe 2017 to Help Area Children – July 15, 2017, LaGrange Daily News, Troup County, GA
A total of 39 children from Troup County have been separated from not just their home, but everyone they know in their lives.
“Believe 2017 brings the needs of our foster children to the forefront,” said Laura Jeter of Promise686, a faith based initiative. “Our community is in desperate need of foster homes. With the community resources and ministries like Promise 686, foster families are born. As members of care groups wrap around foster and adoptive parents, they witness firsthand the life of fostering.
Many times, members of these support groups decide to become involved a little more, which for some results in accepting the call to foster on their own.”As we grow foster parents within our churches and community, we can conquer our goal to allow Troup County children to remain in their familiar surroundings with the stability of the same classmates, teachers, doctors, etc.“
State Budget Will Invest in Foster Families, Caseworkers – April 30, 2017, Gainesville Times, Hall County, GA
“After noticing a high rate of foster parents quitting, Promise 686 President and CEO Andy Cook said the goal was to create a support network for foster families. Promise 686 works with churches to recruit, train and support foster families.”
Churches, DFCS Working to Recruit Foster Parents – March 24, 2017, Gainesville Times, Hall County, GA
“Promise686, a ministry assisting foster care families, has recently joined efforts in Gainesville and Hall County. Bray said she hopes DFCS can recruit foster parents along with Promise686 so “we have a number of people recruiting for us.” Promise686’s Regional Manager Jean Rector, whose work covers the Hall County area, said the group hopes to connect with the Hall foster care coalition, which includes about 10 local churches working with the United Methodist Children’s Home, a private child-placing agency.
Rector said the Promise686 ministry creates a Care Community for a foster family, which could include weekly meals or background-checked babysitters.”
State of Emergency: Shortage of foster homes leads to separation… – August 30, 2015, Rome News-Tribune, Floyd County, GA
“Georgia is in a “state of emergency” when it comes to foster care, and Floyd County was ranked the fifth highest county per capita for children removed from their homes, according to DFCS officials and a report from Georgia Child Welfare Measures. Some 244 children from Floyd County were sent into foster care from April 2014 through March 2015, according to the statistics. That state rate over that time period was 31.2 children per 10,000. Floyd County’s rate was 104.5 per 10,000. Why is the rate so high? There are several reasons, according to local officials…”
In the spring of 2015, our local Atlanta news outlet, Channel 2, WSB.tv, chose to highlight the “desperate” nature of the foster care crisis in Georgia. With over 12,000 children in foster care, an already over-taxed system is breaking under the weight of the need. Unusual and costly measures are being taken to provide a semblance of safety for the children waiting for placements. But, hotels are not homes.
“The opinions of taxpayer and guests varied greatly when they learned DFCS was using the hotels off Camp Creek Parkway in South Fulton County to house children with nowhere else to go.”
“DFCS says it has a desperate need right now for more foster families and hopes legislation that passed this last session will help.”