Join in a movement of compassion designed to reduce child abuse and return the church to the forefront of caring for children, as it had been throughout history. Your support will enable the church to reemerge as a champion for vulnerable families, and help heal hearts and lives in your community.
Support for Parents
IdaHope/Safe Families for Children provides much needed support for parents in crisis, giving them time to get back on their feet while their children are cared for in a safe and loving environment.
Through community networks – schools, hospitals, social workers, churches, law enforcement, and other agencies – IdaHope/Safe Families learns about local families in crisis.
Once identified, an IdaHope/Safe Families representative will visit with the family, assess the situation and needs, and then connect them with the assistance and tools they require.
Volunteers who host children and support parents are known as Host Families and are recruited from a large network of faith communities. Families in crisis, or Families in need, willingly place their children with a safe, loving, and thoroughly screened volunteer Host Family for a short period of time. They can reunite with their children at any time. Both the Family in need and the Host Family participate voluntarily, with no compensation or expectation of adoption.
At the core of the Safe Families model is relationships – developing a supportive and caring relationship between the Host Family and the biological parents and their children. Parents maintain full custody of their child(ren) and are encouraged to participate in decisions regarding their care during the time they are living with the host family. Often, strong bonds are formed and relationships continue long after the children are returned to their parents.
The trust built between the Family in Need and Host Family is central to the Safe Families program. It’s at the heart of creating a safe haven for children and a support network for the Family in need. After the hosting arrangement ends, our goal is for the two families to remain in contact, further reducing social isolation and providing ongoing support. Building strong families and lasting relationships is at the core of this movement.
- We temporarily host children of at-risk families in approved volunteer homes.
- We provide families in crisis with a support network. Our volunteers provide needed resources and services (e.g. mentoring, help securing employment, transportation, babysitting, etc.).
- We engage faith communities to recruit and support volunteers and reach out to families in need.
Family Coaches coordinate placements, help keep track of all the moving pieces, and are an integral part of our ministry. They meet with Host Families to ensure they have the support they need, monitor child safety, and talk with the placing parents to ensure they are moving forward and have access to needed resources.
A Family Coach has four general roles. Depending on the situation and the skills and background of the Family Coach they may focus primarily on the first two and rely on the staff Family Coach Supervisor for the other two.
- Support the Host Family
- Monitor the safety and care of the child in placement
- Provide community resource referrals to the placement parent
- Encourage and support the relationship between the Host Family and placing parent
A Family Coach is a unique and rewarding experience. If you are interested in supporting Host Families, monitoring child safety, providing families in crisis with needed resources, and helping to encourage the relationship between the placing family and the host family, contact us for an informational meeting to learn how you can become a certified Safe Families Family Coach volunteer.
Host Families are well trained, background checked families who open up their home on a temporary basis to provide a safe place and loving atmosphere to children in crisis. Respite Hosts are also needed to step in to give a Host Family a break so they can run errands, shop, take a break, or go on vacation. You can specify preferred ages and genders, as well as the number of children you can accommodate.
Family Friends support parents in need by offering what you have to provide moral and/or tangible support until their situation has begun to stabilize, helping them improve their parenting and home environment. Some examples of the activity of a Family Friend are prayer, transportation, coffee dates, provide meals, babysitting, encouragement, helping with groceries, rent, utility bills, offering a special skill like plumbing or carpentry, and walking alongside them during the crisis. IdaHope/Safe Families staff will connect you with an at-risk family that would benefit from a healthy support system and mentoring friendship.
OTHER WAYS TO HELP
There are so many other ways you can help out. Just give us a call and we’ll help to match our needs with your areas of gifting.
FAMILY COACH SUPERVISOR
502 N. 2nd Avenue
Sandpoint, ID 83864