In this unique time of quarantine and isolation, our supported families will need our help more than ever as they face unprecedented challenges. We have a unique opportunity to serve our families and children even though we can’t physically be present. Let’s remember that one of the main reasons foster families quit is because of the isolation they feel in their journey. The added stress everyone in the household is experiencing could mean more fears and triggers in children, resulting in escalated behaviors. Now more than ever, our families need our love and support!
This uncertain and ever-changing time means that we need to be creative in how we serve our families so they feel our love and encouragement as they navigate life at home with children who have experienced trauma. Our goal is to make sure placements can remain stable and no disruptions occur.
Below are some ideas for how to support these families. Please always follow the highest level of safeguarding to protect yourselves, your volunteers, and the children and families you serve. No one should ever put themselves or others at any kind of risk. Follow all the most updated recommendations by the CDC and anything required by the city or state in which you reside. Extra caution is always advised. All serving is at the discretion of the supported family being served and the volunteer. Err on the side of over-communicating in order to maintain the highest sense of safety possible.
*Find an app or platform that works easily for video calls like Zoom, FaceTime, or Skype.
PRIMARY ACTION STEP
Since in-person visits are prohibited, here are online/virtual ideas your Care Community Members can do to give caregivers a break:
As Advocates and Team Leaders, you will have to be very intentional about connecting consistently with your volunteers. We hope you will find joy in your conversations and interactions as you serve in this way.
Just like with Care Communities, you’ll need to schedule regular virtual calls every 1-3 weeks where you can most importantly, pray for the needs in your FAMs as well as discuss any challenges and how to resolve them.
Divvy up the tasks according to everyone’s capacity and gifting. Writing hand-written notes to your families and Team Leaders can be very encouraging for them. Also, send an email to all volunteers and families twice a month to help encourage them in serving through this challenging time.
MONDAY - ALL CHILDREN:
Pray for peace and protection especially for vulnerable children who may be at risk, children in foster care or displaced from their families, and children from hard places who will experience more challenges.
Matthew 19:14 "… but Jesus said, 'Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.'”
TUESDAY - ALL FAMILIES:
Pray for support and encouragement for birth families separated from their children without in-person visitation, foster, adoptive, kinship, and Safe Families who are dealing with trauma behaviors and homeschooling challenges, families receiving new children in this uncertain time, and families under financial and parenting pressure. Pray that this time at home would bring them closer as a family and strengthen their relationship with Jesus.
Philippians 4:19 "And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus."
WEDNESDAY - CHILD WELFARE & CHILD PLACING AGENCY EMPLOYEES:
Pray for encouragement and wisdom while investigating new cases and handling visits and caseloads utilizing only virtual communication. Pray that they would not grow weary under the pressure and that they would be able to protect children from harm.
James 1:5 "If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him."
THURSDAY - VOLUNTEERS:
Pray for motivation and perseverance for volunteers who serve families. May they find creative ways to support families and children and be a source of encouragement and prayer.
Galatians 6:9 "And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up."
FRIDAY - CHURCHES:
Pray for the pastors and FAM leaders to keep unity among their congregations and volunteers and show the love of Christ through compassionate and strong leadership. May churches be a city on a hill, a united Church, welcoming all who are hurting.
1 Peter 3: 8-9 "Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind. 9 Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing."
SATURDAY - HEALTHCARE & EMERGENCY WORKERS:
Pray for protection and encouragement for all who are on the frontlines and risking their own health and families to serve others. May there be an abundance of the supplies and tools they need to care for patients. May scientists/researchers quickly find an efficient testing protocol, effective medication, and a preventative vaccine.
Psalm 57:1 "Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me, for in you my soul takes refuge; in the shadow of your wings I will take refuge, till the storms of destruction pass by."
SUNDAY - THE SICK:
Pray for healing and complete recovery for all who are affected by the Coronavirus. May the spread of this illness be stopped abruptly. Provide extra protection for those who are immuno-compromised and vulnerable. May all others receive access to any needed emergency medical care.
Psalm 46:1 "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble."
Would you like to print or share this 7-Day Prayer Guide? You can find the PDF version here.