Real family values: how churches are helping keep families together

Faith communities have often stepped in when government welfare systems fail to support people in need. The role and responsibility of government in social welfare is a worthy and critical debate. But what happens if we engage faith communities to collectively create a solution rather than just react to system failures. In the case of Safe Families for Children, you get an alternative to the perpetually troubled foster care system for temporary family separation situations. Read this story from to learn more. And get involved in the network - see Safe Families for Children on our Opportunities page.

Anderson is an Ashoka Fellow who runs the Chicago-based program Safe Families for Children, which connects families in need with pre-screened homes where children can stay for an average of six weeks while their parents maintain full custody. It’s a simple idea, an echo of a time when neighbors took care of each other’s children.

Why churches? “Throughout history, it was the church who was responsible for the most vulnerable people group in our society, and that’s the children,” said Anderson, who is a Christian. “I think in most states there’s a recognition that the faith community should be an important partner in helping families. I think a lot of churches struggle with what should that be.”