What is Cultivating Families?
Today there are over 1500 children in the greater Houston area, ready and waiting for forever families and friends. There are also over 4000 faith-communities in this same area, and we believe that there is some way that 4000 congregations can care for 1500 children.
The mission of Cultivating Families is to educate and equip diverse faith communities to meet needs and share hope with families and children with interest or experience in foster care.
The focus on inspiring congregations is threefold: 1) We raise awareness that more foster and adoptive families are needed; 2) We raise awareness that congregations need training and preparation to welcome and nurture these children and families; 3) We promote the fact that engaging in adoption and foster care activities is not all or nothing. We don't all need to foster or adopt, and not all congregations need to offer every possible adoption and foster care activity. However, we can all do something, be it small or large, and we are all needed.
Is Cultivating Families a Child-Placing Agency?
No. Cultivating Families is a non-profit corporation working to educate and equip faith-communities in the greater Houston area to meet needs and share hope with families and children with interest and experience in foster care. To that end, we bring everyone to the table - from the Department of Family and Protective Services and child-placing agencies in the greater Houston area, to diverse faith-based communities throughout Houston and the families they serve. We envision all diverse faith communities and families in greater Houston cultivating lives of love and faith together for a lifetime.
Do you serve only certain congregations, for instance, a particular socio-economic status, race, or faith?
We seek participation from all faith-communities with a passion and willingness to care for children who need loving homes. We believe there is something that every congregation can do, whether having a family that can foster or adopt and the congregation actively supporting and encouraging that family, or simply raising awareness and offering prayer.
How will this benefit my congregation?
Cultivating Families will benefit your congregation in many ways. Your faith family may grow - adoption and foster care needs provide faith-communities with incredible opportunities to offer real-life bridges to their local communities. In return, these bridges expose more families to your congregation. There are no guarantees, but keep in mind that just as the children seek forever families, these families seek forever faith families.
In addition, your current members may find a new purpose and reason to stay actively involved - one of our greatest needs as humans is to have a purpose, to work and provide what others need. Cultivating Families offers many opportunities for people to engage in meaningful ways.
What is the financial commitment for my congregation?
We request a $250.00 commitment to become a faith partner. If your faith community cannot offer this amount, we have some scholarships available. The purpose of the financial commitment is to supplement Cultivating Families’ costs and show that your congregation is fully engaged in the program, which is funded in part through grants and individual donors who believe in our vision and mission.
Individual activity costs vary according to the classes, groups, or events your congregation offers.
What are you asking faith-communities to do?
We ask that a faith-communities commit to the following:
- Collaborate with Cultivating Families to determine the best adoption/foster care activity for your congregation.
- Launch and sustain at least one key Cultivating Families’ activity tailored to your congregation and local community.
- Participate in our greater Houston area Foster Care Prayer Initiative.
- Encourage participation in our Trauma-Informed Volunteer and Child-care Worker Training.
- Complete and submit Cultivating Families’ outcome evaluation reports.
What would our ongoing commitment be?
We ask that each congregation continue their adoption and foster care activities and prayer initiative for years to come. Cultivating Families will continue to be a resource for your congregation.
Does your goal include finding forever families for at-risk or hard to place children?
Our goal is to have no children waiting for forever families and friends.
Is a congregation expected to train future congregations?
No. We will use the evidence-based outcome reports for future funding for additional congregation trainers. Cultivating Families does expect that participating congregations submit activity evaluations because these reports are essential to the success of each activity and Cultivating Families overall.
We also ask that each participating congregation engage in a collaborative of congregations engaged in Adoption/Foster Care activities to share ideas, resources, and encourage one another.
What does a successful participating congregation look like?
The ultimate overall goal is that faith- communities have families that can adopt or foster, with concentric circles of support and care. Ultimately, this is how we reach the vision of zero children waiting for a forever family.
Success also includes:
- increasing numbers of individual encounters through groups, classes, and events
- course participant decisions to pursue adoption, foster care, or volunteer opportunities
- increasing numbers of volunteers involved in the programs
- increasing numbers of adoptive and foster families supported
- the impact of the awareness events
- and increasing numbers of greater Houston area adoption and foster child placements.
How can I support Cultivating Families?
If you’d like to make a financial contribution, visit our https://cultivatingfamilies.org/give
Other meaningful ways to support Cultivating Families include:
- Introduce Cultivating Families to your congregation
- Become an Ambassador for Cultivating Families, amplifying our impact within your own circle of influence
- Join our Prayer Initiative for the children and keep us in your prayers!
When is the next Decisions Course?
Contact us for information about upcoming Adoption & Foster Care Decisions Course Offerings.
Download the Adoption & Foster Care Awareness Booklet which includes important information on foster care and all types of adoption, “myth-busting” some common beliefs, and much more. Reading this booklet helps everyone participating in the Decisions Course start on the same page.
When is the next Awareness Event?
If you are interested in hosting an Awareness Event within your community, contact us
to schedule one soon!
How can my congregation become a Cultivating Families Faith Partner?
We understand that each congregation is unique - their context, members, and capacity are all different. With that in mind, we work closely with interested congregations to determine the best course of action for your engagement with adoptive and foster families.
- Contact us to start your journey as a Cultivating Families Partner Congregation
Is Cultivating Families a 501c3 non-profit?
Cultivating Families is a 501(c)(3) exempt status nonprofit corporation. All donations are tax-deductible.