Last month, CAFO launched the first national H.E.L.P. Week for Child Welfare Professionals, May 10-16. (See the HELP Week video below.)
We’ve heard back from people around the country who seized the opportunity – using HELP week as an occasion to express gratitude and love for the people serving kids day-in and day-out in the local foster system.
Here’s one report from a small town in central California, written by Debbie Croft. It shows how simple it can be to give a boost to the oft-weary women and men who serve in our child welfare system.
Several years ago our family decided to become a licensed foster care family. After spending four years opening our home to displaced children, and getting acquainted with the foster community of Mariposa County, CA we felt God redirecting our ministry efforts. (My husband is part of the pastoral team at our church.) But in the years since, we’ve maintained contact with other foster families.
One couple from our church, James and Kim, adopted their two children through the foster care program. They’re members of our church, and the kids are in our Christian school, which means my husband and I have known this family almost from the beginning of their foster/adopt journey.
Just a few weeks ago while attending CAFO’s Summit 2015, I learned about the first ever National H.E.L.P. Week for Child Welfare Professionals. May is also National Foster Care Month. I sensed God nudging me to reconnect with our local CWS employees. I asked a few people at our church to bake cookies, and we filled two large gift bags. I also wrote a note of appreciation for their service to the children and families of our rural town, and told them I’d be praying for them.
Kim asked if she and her kids could go with me to make the delivery, and of course, I said, Yes!
The supervisor had already left for the day, but one of the other social workers met us in the reception area of the county services building. We recognized Karen, because she had taught some of our training classes. She was surprised to see us, and thrilled to see the kids—both were a couple feet taller since she last saw them. She took the bags of cookies to the break room for all the employees to enjoy.
Before saying our Good-byes, she admitted it had been a rough day, and our visit meant a lot.
The following Sunday another friend from church—a county employee in the same building—told me that so many co-workers said, Thank you!
It really was such a simple act of kindness that ended up making a big impact. But more than that, it was a great way to reconnect with the social workers, to remind them of our support, and to share the love of Christ.