Help for Families

Supporting families in distress through a community of compassion.

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What is IdaHope Families?

IdaHope Families is a faith-based organization offering support for families in distress through a community of compassionate volunteers from local churches with a shared vision to see families in crisis find hope, help and healing. We are focused on building a culture where children are safe and families enriched using the Safe Families for Children model.


Request a Safe Family

We know parenting isn’t easy and we want you to know that you are not alone.

The hours are endless and praises are few. It’s a job that can leave you feeling isolated and alone. If you are experiencing a life crisis and have nowhere else to turn, we can help.

A movement of compassion, Safe Families for Children is designed to care for your family in your moment of need without relinquishing your parental rights. While voluntarily placing your child(ren) with vetted, trained, and approved volunteers from local churches, you are given the time and tools you need to help your family thrive.



    With Safe Families, you can be confident that:

    • Biological Parents maintain full custody.
    • Volunteer families are extensively screened, trained and supported through local participating churches.
    • Safe Families welcomes children to stay anywhere from two days to six months (our average length of stay is six weeks).
    • Safe Families has close working relationships with the local church and your referring organization.
    • Safe Families is committed to reuniting your family as soon as possible.


    Steps to Joining the Safe Families Team

    When you support IdaHope/Safe Families, you join in a groundbreaking collaboration between local church volunteers and family care professionals to support at-risk children and parents in need. When you volunteer, you can have a powerful impact in the lives of others while practicing biblical hospitality and extending the love of Christ to people in need.

    Join in a movement of compassion designed to prevent child abuse and return the Christian-church to the forefront of caring for children, as it had been throughout history. Your support will enable the Christian-church to reemerge as a champion for vulnerable families, and help heal hearts and lives in your community through the love and power of Jesus Christ.

    1. Apply

    The first step is to fill out an information request. Once you have received the information necessary to choose the volunteer role you are interested in, you may apply.

    2. Screening

     Volunteer Host Families, Family Coaches, and Family Friends undergo a screening and training process, including background checks, references, and a home visit.

    3. Hosting

    4. Reunification

    Featured Case Studies

    FAQ’s About Safe Families

    What type of situations do the children come from?
    The children come from families that are experiencing a crisis, such as financial problems, unemployment, or homelessness. In other cases, children come from families in which the parent needs time to heal physically or emotionally, or is recovering from a drug or alcohol addiction.
    How long does a child usually stay with a Host Family and what ages?
    The average length of stay is about 40 days, but hosting arrangements can last from two days to six months. We make every effort at the time of placement to estimate the length of stay. Factors include the severity of the family’s crisis and the willingness and ability of the biological parent or guardian to address the issues involved in the crisis. While Host Families can care for newborns through adolescents (0-18), the majority of the children hosted are under 6 years old.
    How many children are reunited with their parents?
    The goal of Safe Families is to reunite children with their parent in a home that is more stable and healthy. Currently, 93% of all families reunify, often in the most stable environment they’ve ever known. If, however, the parent loses legal custody of their child(ren), Host Families are welcome to contact a social services agency about the possibility of fostering or adopting.
    Can a family receive help without placing their children with a Host Family?

    Yes, there are certain situations where we can help the family without the children leaving the home. This will be determined when the parents meet with our Crisis Counselor/Family Coach Supervisor to access the need.

    What type of contact will the Host Family have with the parent(s)?
    Parents maintain full custody of their child and are encouraged to maintain contact and participate in decisions regarding their child’s care. Safe Families aims to facilitate a relationship between Host Families and the parent(s), in which the host family becomes a kind of “extended family” for the family in crisis. Host Families are strongly encouraged to maintain a relationship with the family even after the hosting ends.
    Will a child in Safe Families typically have behavior problems?

    Possibly, but not necessarily. Trauma can influence a normally well-behaved child to behave poorly, and can influence a child with behavior problems to behave better. Some children may display behavioral problems as a result of the chaos in their lives, while others may be exceptionally calm and composed. It’s impossible to predict how the child will behave. Remember, it is the crisis of the parent(s) which trigger a referral, not difficult behaviors of a child.

    Reach Out To Us

    Find out how to get involved.

    Lower Level
    502 N. 2nd Avenue
    Sandpoint, ID 83864

    208 295-SAFE

    208 295-7233

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