Ways Your Congregation Can Help
There are many things that congregation can do to assist Mecklenburg County Department of Social Services (DSS) Youth and Family Services Division (YFS) with the recruitment of foster and adoptive parents. Listed below is a brief description of suggested activities and steps that can be taken to implement efforts.
Please note these are suggestions and congregations may consider other activities.
Recruit a coordinator to be a liaison between the house of worship and YFS
The pastor or designate should ask one or two staff and/or members of the congregation to serve as a coordinator between the congregation and YFS. The coordinator will meet quarterly with YFS Recruitment and Adoption Specialist staff, Congregation for Kids planning committee, and other congregation coordinators to discuss accomplishments, needs, and brainstorm ideas for agency recruitment efforts.
Recruit families to become foster or adoptive parents
The coordinator can request an YFS representative as well as an experienced foster/adoptive parent to speak with interested parties during Sunday school or other group activities.
Host an YFS representative to speak at events
The coordinator can request an YFS representative make a special appeal during a church service and/or speak to a Sunday school class, missionary group, or other identified group.
Post and distribute flyers, materials, and bulletin inserts
YFS Recruitment and Adoption Specialist will provide coordinators with material for bulletin inserts, bulletin boards and other informative material that can be distrusted in the congregation
Devote a bulletin board to foster care and adoption
Coordinators may devote a bulletin board to foster care in May to support National Foster Care Awareness Month and November to support National Adoption Day Month. The display of foster/adoption materials or bulletin boards is not limited to May and November. The decision is at the discretion of the congregation leader and coordinator.
Support recruitment events
YFS Recruitment and Adoption Specialist will inform coordinators of upcoming recruitment events so that information can be shared with interested congregation members.
Donate space for orientations, training, and meetings
YFS Recruitment and Adoption Specialist will contact coordinators to discuss the use of their facility to host orientations and training in the community, and quarterly CFK meetings and other events.
Conduct a worship service focusing on children
YFS Recruitment and Adoption Specialist may ask the coordinator and or congregation leader to see if a minimum of one service during each calendar year could focus on children who need “forever homes.” A YFS Recruitment and Adoption Specialist along with a foster/adopt parent and/or youth may be available to answer questions
Make a monthly appeal for the needs of children in foster care
The congregation leader and coordinator will keep their congregation informed of the needs for children in the foster care system. Information regarding the status of children waiting to be adopted can be requested from the assigned YFS Recruitment and Adoption Specialist assigned to your congregation.