Throughout their young lives, we prepare our children for independence. From a young age, we teach them to be careful around strangers, look both ways before crossing the street, and eat their vegetables. As they enter school-age, we praise their accomplishments and stick with them through their challenges, and attend their games, recitals and plays. They grow older learning to balance their checkbook, get a job, and navigate the roads behind the wheel. All of this is done to prepare them for their own independence – that they may leave the safety of home and venture out into the world well prepared for whatever lies ahead.
But for so many fatherless children all over the world, there has not been a consistent guide to teach them, praise them, console them, and guide them toward good choices and healthy relationships. For many children aging out of orphanages or foster care, their Independence Day is not something to look forward to, but rather a day to dread.
Praise God that there are so many foster parents, churches, mentors and organizations that are committed to prepare these children for their future and guide them through a successful life transition to independent adulthood. It’s not easy, but it’s incredibly rewarding.
If your church or ministry is currently working with children in care, and you have questions about effectively supporting them through their transition to self-sufficiency, please visit CAFO’s Aging Out Initiative at https://cafo.org/aging-out/. Learn about five key areas for successful life transitions, and connect with CAFO member organizations and resources that may help you in your mission.
Let’s work together to ensure every child has a truly happy independence day!