Delaware church leaders will soon be encouraging their congregations to consider opening their homes to foster children in need.
The number of foster children in Delaware outpaces the number of available foster homes by a 2-to-1 margin. That means there are only 400 foster families statewide to offer housing to the 850 children in need of foster care. “These are kids who have been dealt some of the toughest hands of any kids in our state,” says Lt. Gov. Matt Denn. “Many of them are in foster care because they were abused, because they were neglected, because they were abandoned by the people who were supposed to take care of them.”
He’s reaching out to churches in Delaware in hopes of finding just one family in each congregation to consider opening their home to one of these foster kids. “We have a moral obligation to make things okay for them. To give them a stable and a loving environment in which to live.”
Denn unveiled the plan surrounded by both Christian and Jewish church leaders at Word of Life Church in Newark. “Most, if not all, of our religious denominations in Delaware have as a central tenet of what they stand for the care of the most vulnerable among us.”
Rabbi Michael Beals of Congregation Beth Shalom in Wilmington said he’ll bring the message to his congregation from the Torah teaching about what he called the ‘original trinity’, the widow, the orphan and the stranger in your midst. “I’ll be preaching that we’ll be judged on how we treat them, so that will be my motivational text to go forward.”
The message will be the same for Rev. John Moore of Calvary Baptist Church in Dover, except his text comes from the New Testament parable of the Good Samaritan. “Will we stop and help somebody because we’re concerned about them? In doing so, we can impact lives tremendously.”
The churches will also use a video presentation featuring some Delaware foster children and foster parents to encourage their congregations to consider getting involved.