After a brief time working in the foster care system in our city, Lifeline staff quickly learned that the primary goal in most foster care cases is reunification of children with their families of birth. While we are believers in this goal (we know from scripture that God ordained family), it has become evident that, outside of multiple short-term interventions, there are very few , or no, real Christ-centered services being offered to birth parents – services that extend hope for lasting success to them and their children.
Families Count is a family restoration and preservation ministry designed to give local churches a platform to minister to the parents of children who have been placed into the local foster care system, or are at risk of entering it. Families Count equips the church to engage some of the most vulnerable families in their community with the hope of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Families Count is a 6-week, biblically based parent education program that is designed to meet the standards for state-approval for court-mandated parent education programs.
Through Families Count, local churches are positioned to meet, mentor, and care for parents who are working to fulfill a court-ordered plan for reunification with their children or to intervene with parents who the court deems at-risk for a court-ordered disruption. Families Count equips churches teach the curriculum while engaging the parents through providing transportation, childcare, a weekly family-style meal, and a voluntary mentoring program.