One of the most complicated things in life is to navigate and build our relationships. They are also arguably the most important and rewarding. That’s why at CarePortal, we believe it is so important to connect relationally with children and families in crisis, by intentionally engaging in their lives the way Jesus would.
These relationships are represented in Tier 2 of The Grid, our visual used to explain the spectrum of needs you and your church can help meet. Watch the short video below to learn more about The Grid and check out our previous blog on the 5 best practices for responding to Tier 1 needs.)
Tier 2 is all about building strong, supportive relationships. Common Tier 2 requests include: mentoring, tutoring, parenting classes, supporting a family reuniting with their children, transportation to work or school and babysitting. Applications and background checks are required to have continued contact with a child or family that is working with a child welfare professional. Beyond that, it is necessary to be open to an ongoing relationship that may evolve with new needs revealing themselves, as trust builds and friendship progresses. The goal is to walk with a child or family in a mutually beneficial relationship. Everyone has something to offer.
When responding to a Tier 2 Need, it is important to keep these 6 best practices in mind. Watch this short video or read on below to learn more:
Many of the opportunities you see will be chances to commit to consistent and regular interactions with children or parents. It’s important that you communicate that they are valuable to you by showing up and sticking with them.
Avoid assuming based off what you observe or the little that you know. There is always more to the story. We don’t know the circumstances that led a person to the crisis they are in. You have been given the privilege of walking with someone in their struggle.
Follow agency guidelines.
Follow all of the guidelines that the agency has provided for your specific connection. These are essential as many of them are mandated by law.
Call the caseworker.
If you have any questions, concerns or follow up, call the caseworker. As the connection point to the child or family, they can give you tremendous insight.
Ask good questions.
Become a learner and don’t rush to offer advice. Follow Jesus’ lead and learn to draw others deeper with a well-timed question.
Be patient to build trust.
Trust takes time to build and it is the most worthwhile investment that you can make for children and families who are hurting.
When we respond to CarePortal requests, we go expecting to meet a need, but often leave discovering that a need of ours has been revealed. There is always potential for transformation. This won’t happen every time, but the heart of CarePortal is this: to experience Jesus through real, meaningful connection with our neighbors.