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Saddleback's Orphan Care Initiative believes that church and family is God's solution to the orphan crisis. Raising a child who has come from a hard place is much more likely to find success inside the support of a church community. Orphan Care is committed to equipping a team of volunteers with training and infrastructure to help meet the unique needs of each adoptive family. There are five key areas that we will seek to help support the family. Each family will be assigned to a family coach (case manager) to help connect them to resources both in and outside the church.

1. Healthy Family: Healthy connected relationships in the family is the best way to prevent and correct behavioral issues. Orphan Care will connect adoptive families to free counselling and curriculum-based support groups that teach the TBRI principles.

2. Healthy Finances: Economic sustainability is a critical need of every family to thrive. Orphan Care will connect adoptive families to Saddleback Church’s Financial Freedom ministry and PEACE Center to help the family achieve economic sustainability.

3. Healthy Education: Access to education is a key component the development every child to prepare them for life. Orphan Care will develop and equip parents with tools to help them advocate on behalf of their child in the classroom. Many teachers would benefit from learning the needs of adoptive children so that they can effectively address behavioral issues.

4. Healthy Household: The demands of raising an adoptive child can cause a family to let the house go. Orphan Care will call on the Men’s Ministry for minor repairs and household maintenance. Additionally for large projects we’ll conduct serve-days to help make sure the housing meets the needs of the family.

5. Healthy Community: Community is the fabric of every society. Orphan Care seeks to fully plug a family into fellowship with church family and adoptive community. Life was never meant to be lived alone–difficulties get cut in half and joys get doubled in the community of friends.

If you know a family who needs help in any of these areas or would like to help families in these areas simply call the orphan care line at 949-609-8555 or email orphans@saddleback.com to learn more.


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Foster parents are in higher demand in Orange County after a new state law that took effect at the beginning of the year aims to place at-risk kids into permanent homes at a faster rate, said county officials. Orange County has until February 18 to come under compliance with this new law. This has placed a great need for licensed foster parents to not only provide homes for new foster children entering the system but also provide co-training for families seeking licensing. If you know someone who is a licensed foster parent in Orange County that is interested in helping the county train families by sharing firsthand experiences, please let us know by emailing orphans@saddleback.com.

Local orphan advocates at homes such as Orangewood Children and Family Center say the law also calls for major changes at group homes so that “children don’t spend years in what is referred to as ‘congregate’ or ‘residential’ care until they age out of the child welfare system at 18,” according to the Orange County Register.

“(The new law) increases our need for good foster homes exponentially,” said Elizabeth DenBleyker, public information officer for Orange County’s Social Services Agency. DenBleyker told the Register that 100 to 120 more such homes are needed.

Advocates favor the general goal of the new law. However, Orange County officials say “the new rules also present a challenge to find enough people – either relatives, other significant adults in a child’s life or foster parents – who can serve as what is being called ‘resource families’ for children whose biological parents are deemed unfit to raise them’,” the Register reports.

Read “Wanted: More Foster Parents in Orange County” beginning below.

Local advocates for children are scrambling to find more foster parents in Orange County, a result of a new state law aimed at placing abused kids into permanent homes faster. The law also figures to alter operations at the county’s best-known children’s home, Orangewood Children and Family Center.

The broader goal of AB403, which took effect Jan. 1, is to get traumatized youth into stable and supportive living situations, preferably in a family-like setting, as soon and as permanently as possible. It sets a limit of 10 days on the time a child can spend in a temporary emergency shelter such as Orangewood.

The law also calls for major changes at group homes so that children don’t spend years in what is referred to as “congregate” or “residential” care until they age out of the child welfare system at 18. Group homes typically have six or more children housed together under the supervision of paid staff.

“(The new law) increases our need for good foster homes exponentially,” said Elizabeth DenBleyker, public information officer for Orange County’s Social Services Agency. DenBleyker pegged the need at 100 to 120 more such homes.

The county has about 400 licensed resource family homes, but only about one-third are prepared and ready to take in children, DenBleyker said.

Currently, 2,304 children are in county dependency, with most of them placed with relatives or other adults in their lives in family-based settings… FULL STORY

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This weekend on the Saddleback Church bulletin, Pastor Phillip Congelliere, campus pastor at Saddleback Aliso Viejo, and his wife Alex, share how their painful struggle with infertility ultimately led them to explore adoption. As God opened their hearts to the possibility of being parents to a child in need of a family, they were presented with a unique and miraculous opportunity to adopt their precious daughter.

 

At Saddleback, we know that the struggle with infertility is a challenge faced by so many couples. We also know that the process of starting to think about growing your family through adoption or foster care can be overwhelming and confusing. The good news is – the Orphan Care Initiative is here to support you! You’re not alone – you can hear from people just like you who have already walked this path.

 

If you are struggling with infertility, or if you would like more information on how you can adopt or foster, we invite you to join us next Wednesday from 6:30-8:30pm in the MO2 Gathering Room of the Saddleback Lake Forest campus for our monthly “ Thinking About Adoption or Foster Care ” gathering. There you will hear helpful overviews from adoptive and foster parents in our own church and have the opportunity to get your questions answered in a no-pressure environment.

 

If you can’t make it to the gathering, we would still love to talk with you! You can call the orphan care line at 949-609-8555 or email orphans@saddleback.com to get connected and learn more.

 

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Perhaps, like me, you’ve been tempted to worry for your children that adoption will affect them, especially in the long run. When I am tempted to fear this is my prayer:

 If something in them is ruined, may it be apathy. If they are disrupted, may it be for the plight of the orphan and the widow, the sick and the lonely, the refugee and the homeless. If this does, in fact, create baggage down the road, may they experience the peace that comes in unloading their burdens on the only One who can fully bear the weight. If they are uncomfortable, may they embrace the presence of the Spirit, our Comforter. If they are ever questioned or teased for the differences in their family, may the Spirit strengthen them in every way, and may the experience increase their compassion and empathy. In this Land of Opportunity, may they take every opportunity to show the mercy that they have been shown. I’m not advocating for a life riddled with uncertainty and inconsistency for our children. They need safe rhythms and security, and one of our primary roles is to protect them. But as we do, may we protect them from a life anesthetized by comforts that blind them to the needs of others. We are called to love and to live sacrificially. May we help them see there is a story bigger than their own. As we teach our children that Christ has done the monumental work of saving the world, may we never forget to show them how He invites us to join in the incremental work of loving our neighbor, even when it means disruption. Obedience leads ultimately to joy and freedom. He turns disruption into a gift.

Originally posted as The Gift of Disruption by Katy Rose Oct 20, 2015 on Kristen Welch’s blog wearethatfamily.com

If you would like information on how to begin your adoption or foster care journey, email us at orphans@saddleback.com or call the Orphan Care Initiative at 949-609-8555.

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Fall has arrived, kids are back in school, and it's a great time to get connected, learn, and gain the tools to help your family and other families! Whether you are new to orphan care, or have been around a long time - there is a spot for you to grow and learn! Gain some new insight to help your kiddos, or to serve vulnerable children locally and globally.

We hope to see you at one of these great opportunities:


Orphan Care Skills Training – Oct. 24 from 9am-1pm in the upstairs Refinery classroom

Learn how to end the orphan care crisis by helping children remain in families, reunite with families or regain a family through adoption can only be done through healthy churches helping launch healthy families. You’ll learn an overview of the practical advanced skills that you can use in your own family and give away to a church. Learn the skills churches need in parenting children from hard places using Trust Based Relational Interventions, Adult Attachment and Trauma Informed Care.

 

Adoption/Foster Care Support Group – Meets Tuesdays 11am-1pm, starts Oct. 27

Join other parents as we listen, learn, and grow together. This season's Adoptive and Foster Family Support Group meets on Tuesdays from 11am to 1pm in the upstairs Refinery classroom on the Lake Forest Saddleback Church campus, starting October 27. The support group will be studying from the DVD curriculum The Connection: Where Hearts Meet written by Dr. Karyn Purvis and Elizabeth Styffe. Unfortunately, no childcare is available.


Questions? Email orphans@saddleback.com or call the orphan care line at 949-609-8555!

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