The blog of Dr. Albert Reyes—President of CAFO member Buckner International—this week highlights a great example of Christians leading efforts to improve child welfare systems in Peru and other Latin American countries.
Reyes’ post, “Heroic Leadership Shining Hope in Peru and across Latin America,” highlights how Peru’s Congress recently voted unanimously to approve home-based foster care as an option for children who temporarily lack parental care. This adds a vital—and previously non-existent—option to ways in which vulnerable children can be protected and cared for. The proof for the effectiveness of this option came especially from the foster care program piloted by Buckner starting in 2007.
No one approach to caring for vulnerable children works for all of the diverse dilemmas children face. As we know all too well in the U.S., the statistics facing children who live in foster care long-term without being adopted are dismal. But foster care—especially when recognized to be a temporary solution—can often provide a far preferable alternative to abusive homes, long-term institutionalization or life on the streets.
Peru’s Congress recognized the importance of this option with its recent vote. Other Latin American countries have also begun asking Buckner for help in exploring foster care as an option also. Meanwhile, other CAFO member organizations are leading the way in helping nations develop effective foster care models, from China (Care for Children) to Costa Rica (Casa Viva) to Ethiopia (Bethany Christian Services) to Mexico (Back2Back) to Haiti (Loving Shepherd Ministries) and many more.
That’s Christian faith-in-action at its best: not merely trying to love children, but to love wisely and well…and doing so in a way that helps guide the way for others also.