Safe Families for Children, keeping children safe and families together
Safe Families for Children, a part of Bethany Christian Services, is a movement fueled by compassion to keep children safe and families together.
RAPID CITY, S.D. — When a family is in crisis, where do they turn to then they can’t take care of their children? If no relatives are around to help, there’s not much of a choice. That’s is where Safe Families for Children comes in. They are helping families in crisis situations because, as the saying goes, “it take a village.”
They rely heavily on volunteers – some of whom provide short term hosting arrangements, resources, friendship and mentoring.
Shelby E. Kruckenberg, S.F.F.C Rapid City Program Coordinator , says, “It’s a great experience you get to connect and help people in your community. The kiddos are always awesome, and it’s great to just be that change.”
The outreach assists families going through a temporary crisis like homelessness, unemployment or hospitalization. It’s different than foster care in that abuse and neglect is not a factor in the situations and the courts are not involved. Each host family and biological family gets mentoring from a coach that keeps the children connected with the parents though their time apart.
After a neighbor had a positive experience with the program, Tarren King’s family has been opening up their home to children for the past two years.
King says, “And the joy in that kid’s eyes of having a home that she could come to and feel safe was just overwhelming for us, so that’s why we chose it.”
Tarren says the best part about safe families is that it is very manageable, allowing the process to work with their busy lifestyles. She thinks of it as ‘filing in’ for the parents and offering grace and hope in the midst of struggle.
King says, “That’s part of this, like you do your best, and these children love you for that, and so do the parents — we all do our best.”
She says at times can be emotionally hard, but it is well worth the sacrifice, “A child comes into your home and you do get attached, but the thing that I always think of is what you’re giving the child is something so great … I think the hardest thing as a parent would be to say ‘right now I can’t give my kids everything that I want to get them, so could you?’ and I think to be able to do that is amazing.”
Safe Families is always looking for volunteers, donors and sponsors. Click here for more information.