Talk to any social worker, any teacher, any coach and at some point the conversation will come to the impact of COVID-19 on the family. Specifically, they’ll discuss what isn’t being seen.
That’s because these are the individuals who consistently see the effects of domestic violence on the children they work with every day. Therefore, they’re the ones who do most of the reporting to social services. With schools closed due to the coronavirus, the reporting of those numbers has dropped.
But don’t think those situations aren’t still playing out in homes across the state. As such, experts are predicting a rise in the need for foster homes in the coming months due to COVID-19. When that time comes, it will be up to individuals and groups like the Georgia Baptist Children’s Homes and Family Ministries to step into the gap.
“Tearing Down Walls … Building Up Lives” is the theme for this year’s GBCH&FM annual Mother’s Day offering. It arrives at a time when, indeed, there will be many lives needing to be rebuilt. Numerous programs through the Children’s Home work to this end.
Bright Foster Care does this through placing children in need of a Christian influence and support with families and individuals throughout several metro Atlanta counties. Respite families serve as a supplemental team to foster families by giving times of rest and caring for the children on a temporary basis. Also, mentors work with children by providing job assistance as well as life and work skills, reminding them that they are God’s children created for a purpose.
If you were to visit the Palmetto campus of GBCH&FM, you’ll be struck by its beauty and focus on building up young people. But this ministry extends far beyond that location to throughout the state.
Giving children and teens a place to call home, they show Christ’s love through a variety of ways and communicate to each client as an individual. Boys and young men are provided the opportunity to build themselves up through options such as a farm-based treatment program and working with mentors. Families are shown how to heal from the past and plan for the future. Human trafficking survivors and youth with special needs are taught their worth in the eyes of their Creator.
The work of the staff and partners of the Georgia Baptist Children’s Homes & Family Ministries cannot be overstated in these days. That work on the front lines for families is only going to increase in the coming months. I urge you to take these into consideration this Sunday, Mother’s Day, as you decide on the amount of support you’ll be sending this worthwhile ministry and help them in "Tearing Down Walls ... Building Up Lives."