Soma Eastside Church believes in helping hurting families who are outside of our church body, whether they live in Issaquah or Sammamish or other parts of our beautiful region. By partnering with Safe Families for Children we are actively engaging with children and parents who need extra support.
There are two main ways people serve with Safe Families
Helpers come alongside the host family while they are sharing their home with children. Sometimes this simply means
-Cooking a meal,
-Sharing school supplies
There are several dozen people within Soma Eastside who are on call every time a Helper is needed. Would you like your name to be added to that list?
The other way people serve with Safe Families is by opening up their homes and letting children at risk stay under their roof. Hosting can be for one child or for two or three siblings. Ages range from infants to elementary age, to teenagers. And a host might house a child for a week or for months. Each case is unique. Soma Eastside has several families who have provided multiple hostings over the last few years. Hosts go through a training and equipping process with Safe Families before receiving a child into their home.
When crisis strikes, many of us rely on relatives and our church family for support. But for some parents, there isn't a safety net. Often problems such as drug addiction, domestic abuse, incarceration, or illness can be debilitating, making it impossible for parents to care for their children. With the changing economy many more families are experiencing financial crisis, unemployment, and homelessness. During such crisis, children are especially at-risk for neglect or abuse as their parents struggle to cope with crushing circumstances and emotions.
State welfare emergency hotlines throughout the nation reportedly receive over 5 million calls each year of suspected child abuse or neglect. Of those calls, about one million meet the criteria for state intervention. What happens to the remaining four million families that don't qualify for help?
Overburdened by need and restrained by resources, law and policy most state welfare agencies are allowed to rescue only children who have suffered blatant abuse or neglect. Overwhelmed and underfunded, the state is ill-equipped to deal with a problem of this magnitude.
Without assistance, many of these families will find the issues in their homes escalating to episodes of abuse and/or neglect with long lasting consequences for not only the child, but also for our communities as well.
Since 2005, Safe Families for Children has offered sanctuary to thousands of children, minimizing the risk for abuse or neglect and giving parents the time and tools they need to help their families thrive. The ultimate goal is to strengthen and support parents so they can become Safe Families for their own children.
If you would like to sign up as a "Helper" or a "Host" please email Pastor Rich
For more info on Safe Families please visit www.safe-families.org