Safe Families for Children is a volunteer-fueled movement with the mission of creating a world where children are safe and families transformed through radically compassionate communities.
We aim to reduce the number of families entering foster care by offering prevention-based intervention. Safe Families hosts vulnerable children with family-like support through devoted volunteers motivated by compassion to keep children safe and families intact.
Not only is it beautiful to see families get onto a healthy track, but the financial impact on the community is grand. Our average cost per child is $1,500; the average annual cost in foster care is $32,000 per child. Over a lifetime of potential foster care, the fiscal impact on Santa Cruz is predictably immense. Our child-return-to-family rate is 94%; the national foster care average return rate is approximately 50%.
Our soft launch of the Santa Cruz chapter was in 2019, and we have more requests for support than we can provide. Funding is requested for volunteer recruitment, screenings, training and supervision to increase service to struggling families, and lower the risk for child abuse and neglect.
Many families in Santa Cruz County do not have family or friends with the means to help during a crisis such as unemployment, homelessness, mental health issues, substance abuse, or domestic violence. Safe Families addresses this social isolation and hosts children in screened, trained volunteer homes for an average of six weeks, while providing a network of support to parents who voluntarily choose to place their children with host families, do not lose custody of their children, and are reunited as soon as possible. Safe Families welcomes families and volunteers of any faith or beliefs who share our values of kindness and compassion.
Our goal is to serve 30 children in Santa Cruz County and expand to at least 50 volunteers in 2020.
When I was in my situation, I was praying. I didn’t know things like this [Safe Families] were out there. Just people willing to help. I thought I would end up in my car or in a shelter. I am so glad. I slept well at night knowing my kids were fed and clothed. I definitely recommend Safe Families.
Donna (hosted by volunteers Gabe and Shelly Brown)