Together for Good
[Editor’s note: This short talk was given as the second talk at a recent gathering of Cities Church members who are seeking to care for the endangered children of our cities.]
I am very excited to be able to share about Together for Good with you tonight. I have been involved as a social worker with this ministry for the past seven years and can say that my excitement for it has only grown over the years.
I’ll start off by telling you how I got involved. Right out of college, I worked as a social worker in the MD foster care system for a few years before we moved to Minnesota. It was an eye opening experience to say the least and left me wondering how the church could better serve inside and outside of the foster care system. When we moved to MN in 2011, I was introduced to Maridel Sandberg, who at that time was starting a ministry called Safe Families. She invited me to join her and when I learned that there was a Christian organization providing respite to families on the brink of foster care, in order to prevent abuse and neglect from happening in the first place, I jumped at the opportunity. Over the next 6 years, the ministry grew from a handful of families who hosted children to several hundred families involved. It was astounding to see the real needs that were being alleviated in our community and to see God’s blessing on the work. Well in 2017, our team came to a cross roads with the national Safe Families network and decided to launch Together for Good. And that is what I am here to tell you about this evening.
Together for Good
Our Mission at Together for Good is creating pathways for the local church to come alongside vulnerable children and families in Christ-centered ministry.
Basically, Everything we do seeks to build gospel-centered relationships with isolated parents and children.
If you have a sense that God is moving you towards caring for children and families so that they never have to enter the foster care system, so that their social isolation in alleviated through real community, there are several ways you can get involved (and I promise the process is fairly short and painless!)…
- Crisis Care – temporary hosting of children (1 night to 1 year, really varies) and this gives parents a safe option for their children during crisis.
- Respite – hosting for moms in distress (a few hours, one weekend a month, etc.), likely on a regular basis.
- Relational Care – fellowship meals, Bible study, art and writing classes, parenting classes. Many of these opportunities take place at our office just down the street at Summit Church on Summit Avenue.
The process for those interested in hosting children…
- in-person training (these happen 1-2x a month at our office on Summit Ave) Monday, June 18, Tuesday, July 10, Monday, July 23
- online application
- sign a few policy/procedure documents
- social worker out to your home to meet with you and complete a 1-2 hour home study. That’s what I do, so maybe I will see some of you.
From beginning to end, can happen within the span of one month.
Three Things I Love About T4Good
And I just wanted to share 3 things in closing that I love about Together for Good…
- It’s quick and easy to get involved right away at whatever level you are comfortable with and ease into longer or more complex placements. You’ll get e-mails throughout the week with needs as they come up and if you feel you can meet the need, just e-mail us back! Many families interested in foster care or adoption find TFG to be a great first step into the world of caring for children. We have supportive Christian staff and can guide your family as you go.
- We come alongside the foster care system by intervening before a situation warrants their involvement, before abuse or neglect ever happen or when a call is screened out! The exciting thing about this is FC can then focus on the most vulnerable children and families with the limited resources they have. It’s a true gospel witness on a broad scale when the government begins to ask why the number of children in the FC system is dropping... and they turn around to see the church stepping up. So we need both, families within the FC system and those working to alleviate the need for FC to begin with!
- Lastly, most families with small children know it’s difficult to be out in the community doing ministry together as a family and both foster care and TFG provide your family opportunities to bring ministry into your own home. The youngest child plays a role, everyone makes sacrifices. And the testimonies of families who have grown in ways they never could have imagined are countless. So, if you want to jump in where Jesus is already at work, I wholeheartedly recommend Together for Good. It’s a wonderful place to start!
Agencies and Orgs
- Bethany Christian Services
- New Horizons Adoption Agency
- Together for Good
- Together for Good Overview (PDF)
- Hennepin County Foster Care and Adoption
- Ramsey County Foster Care
- Ramsey County Adoption
- The Reel Hope Project
- The Primal Wound: Understanding the Adopted Child, Nancy Verrier
- Adopted for Life: The Priority of Adoption for Christian Families and Churches, Russell Moore
- Adopting and Fostering in Faith (podcast)
- Three Little Words: A Memoir, Ashley Rhodes-Courter
- Another Place at the Table, Kathy Harrison