HomeChild CareHas anyone heard of Safe Families for Children?
Posted in Child Care on 19th February 2011

Has anyone heard of Safe Families for Children?
CBS is doing a series on Safe Families for Children. The program is an alternative to Foster care.

“Volunteers open their homes to children whose parents are experiencing a short-term emergency, such as hospitalization, or a longer-term crisis, such as drug abuse. Designed to extend and strengthen the community safety net for at-risk families, Safe Families is a positive alternative to the state child welfare system, allowing parents to work out their problems without having to worry about losing custody of their kids. The program’s goal is to reunite children with their biological parent(s) in a home that is more stable and healthy, in part because of the contribution of the Safe Families intervention.”

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2009/05/18/business/childofrecession/main5023921.shtml?tag=topHome;topStories

http://www.safe-families.org/

I will admit I am somewhat torn with this, while it seems like a better alternative to the Foster care system, I would rather see the resources used to keep the families together.

What are your thoughts on this?

Best answer(s):

Answer by annie
This is the same thing as foster care. This is just what the foster care system was started for. It really is just the same thing. Not all children put in foster care are taken forever. In fact most are returned to their first parents. That is what foster care is for, it just so happen that sometimes people wont change even for the sake of their children. That is why some children are in the foster care system all their lives because their parents never straitened up and because the laws are set to protect their rights the children can’t be adopted out.
So what i am saying is that while it is a great idea it is already in place. It would be just like starting the foster care all over again before years of trying to fix the problems.

Answer by maybe
I agree that resources could be better used to keep the family together. However, it does appear to be a better alternative to the foster care system, especially since the focus is on reunification. TPR and adoption are NOT promoted in these programs, which is a positive feature.

Answer by MamaKate is going to be an Aunt!
Dear Heather,

I heard about Safe Families a while ago and I think it is a tremendous program. I am excited to see people willing to volunteer to help provide respite care to families in need WITHOUT expecting payment (either monetarily or in the form of a child). I am also glad that there is a program where families who may not have a choice but to use voluntary respite care (either because they have no extended families or need temporary assistance for other reasons) are not forced into a situation where every aspect of their lives is examined by the state in order to have their child returned to them. I feel that people are more likely to get the help they need if they are not penalized for asking for it.

I think it is important for communities to stick together and assist one another in raising happy, healthy families. Safe Families is an opportunity for people to help one another and seems to me to be a brilliant and successful program. I have recommended it to a few people and would like very much to see it spread throughout the country. Thank you for bringing it up and raising awareness for such an important program!

Great question!

Answer by crzymmof8
I guess the problems with this are it doesn’t really address the issues and it is still foster care just not government run. I know of a situation where a church got involved to keep a womans children out of foster care while she was in jail. The kids were shuttled from one family to the next for moms 8 months in jail. Then they were returned when mom got out. Then 2 months later when mom was rearrested they ended up in foster care anyway. Only since it was their first time technically in foster care they worked extra hard with mom. They were in foster care for 11 months. Then home. Six weeks later mom was arrested again (same charge DUI). So back into care. Then the kids were in care 13 months before termination. By now these kids were so incredibly attachment disordered that they are mainly all in residential (only one was adopted and the adoption failed). So in the end did this alternate help? I don’t want to be jaded but it is hard to honestly know what the right thing is anymore. IT is never good for kids to be out of their homes but sometimes it is the only safe thing. Hard to know the answer to this dilemna.

Answer by allchildrenareangels
Yes, I have heard of it. They help with all kinds of situations. They help with whatever the biological parent needs. Like I was asked to help in a situation where the mom was a teen. Her baby was in the hospital and the mom didn’t have any one or a car. They wanted me to take her to the hospital and be with her while she was with her baby. Also they wanted me to go and visit on days the mom couldn’t. I think it is a wonderful program. They are geared towards keeping families together and do whatever they can to help these moms get on their feet so they can take care of their kids. Also as I said they help in other ways like getting you to help the mom too. Oh yeah another situation they asked us to help on was to let a teen mom stay with us for two weeks until she had her baby because, she didn’t have anywhere to go until after the baby was due. Of course they also have children who need a place to stay but, to be honest I have received as many emails to help mom and baby as I have to help just the child. Anyway I think it is a good thing.

Love,
Dianna

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