Joy Greer wrote -
Safe Families for children is now up and running in the Des Moines area! So far this year we have been able to certify 10 host families and help 5 families who are experiencing some kind of crisis. However, we are only scratching the surface of the need in Iowa. In 2015, DHS in Iowa received 50,000 phone calls from parents in crisis who were seeking a safe place for their children to stay. Out of those 50,000 phone calls, DHS was only able to respond to 25,000. As the Church (i.e. the body of Christ), we are well positioned and equipped to help meet the needs of these families in crisis because of what Christ has given to us.
As the need expands here in Des Moines so do the operating costs. We are short-staffed to say the least. While hostings, volunteers, territory, and demand have increased, funding has not. With only one full-time staff for the entire state, we are operating in a limited capacity. With the ability to hire more staff, we will be able to recruit and train more volunteers, host more children, and thus help keep more families together. Annually, a child in foster care costs the state $20,000 - $30,000. Annually, a child with Safe Families costs between $500 - $1000, which equates to $42 - $83 a month (i.e. less than a Starbucks coffee a day). Additionally, a child with Safe Families is privately funded.
In Des Moines, we have been doing all of this with 100% volunteer work. We feel that we need to hire a full-time person to run the day to day operations here in Des Moines. For the cost of 2 children being cared for by DHS in one year, we plan to manage our entire Des Moines organization for the year. In light of the need, please consider giving to Safe Families this Giving Tuesday, November 29th, so that we, as a movement of volunteers and churches, can continue to help families in crisis, and in doing so, share Christ's love.
For more information please contact Des Moines area coordinator, Joy Greer at email@example.com.