Powerful partnership launched to address high numbers of children in care

The Catholic Church’s network of Marriage and Family Life ministry in England & Wales (MFL) are collaborating with the adoption and fostering charity Home for Good to find more families for children in need of loving and supportive homes.

The new project was launched yesterday at the annual Diocesan Marriage and Family Life Ministry Coordinators’ Conference in Leeds. It is hoped that this collaboration will help raise awareness of the crisis in the care system across England and Wales and find more families in Catholic communities who are willing and able to foster or adopt, creating paths of welcome for vulnerable children.

109 children a day in the UK enter the care system and 8,100 more foster families are urgently needed. Catholic communities could help fill this gap. Pope Francis made this call by saying, “Adopting a child is an act of love, offering the gift of a family to someone who has none.”

Participants at the conference spoke movingly from their own experience: as adoptive parents; as adoptees themselves; and as those who work in Catholic agencies in support of adoptive and fostering families. Others spoke of the experience of supporting unaccompanied minors who have come to the UK, are traumatised and in need of homes. Through collaboration, it is hoped that more families will start the process of finding out more about being foster carers or adoptive parents.

Home for Good offer training to social workers to enable an understanding of the benefits that adopters with faith can bring as well as excellent training material for parishes. Kirsty Wordsworth, Head of Engagement for the charity, said “We believe, and see, our church communities as vital support for foster and adoptive carers. Everyone has a part to play, whether it’s providing a home for vulnerable children and young people, offering support to families who do, or praying about this increasingly important issue.”

James Copeland, Home for Good’s Head of Partnerships stated, “This is the beginning of a positive relationship between the Marriage and Family Life teams within the Catholic Church and our charity, as we journey together to find homes for those children who desperately need them.” Home for Good can help in signposting potential adopters and fosters to existing Catholic fostering and support services, or direct to social services.

The MFL diocesan coordinator for Birmingham, Lianne Pap, said “The whole church family has a responsibility to accompany, and go on this journey with families.  Children waiting for someone to find them, and families going through the process, can often feel alone.  We can make a difference. Support throughout is vitally important and we will be encouraging new awareness of this throughout our Parishes.”

For more information please contact your Marriage and Family Life diocesan coordinator or the Bishops’ Conference Marriage and Family Life team at www.catholicfamily.org.uk  or Home for Good https://www.homeforgood.org.uk/

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