Catalyzing a Movement to Care for Kids
June 30, 2018
This Article Covers
- CarePortal At-a-Glance
- Defining the Problem
- The Solution
- Impact in the US
- How CarePortal Works
- "You Felt I Was Worth It"
- Appendix A
- Appendix B
- Appendix C
- Appendix D
- Appendix E
- Appendix F
CarePortal is a proprietary platform of The Global Orphan Project
Founded in 2003, the Global Orphan Project’s mission is to break the orphan cycle through the power of community & commerce. See Appendix A for more about The Global Orphan Project.
CarePortal’s executive leadership & advisory board includes:
Pastors, Entrepreneurs, Child Protective Services Executives, Corporate Executives, Ministry Leaders, University Administrators, Software Developers, Strategic Planners — all seeking to impact their communities as servants of Christ.
Defining the Problem
In many countries around the world, including our own, the family—the foundational building block of every society—is in a state of free fall.
Fatherlessness, the damaging condition created by men unwilling or unable to parent the children they produce, is the leading culprit. In America, we watch as divorce, social programs financially penalizing couples who marry, and the erosion of family values also contribute significantly to the breakdown of the nuclear unit.
There are approximately 4,000,000 children in the United States child welfare system. 400,000 of those children are in foster care.
As a society, we have largely outsourced the care of our most vulnerable children to state agencies. With decades of data now available, many sincere, dedicated child welfare workers are the first to say, “Government doesn’t make good family.” The current system of care is neither sufficient nor sustainable. Government oversight needs to be supported by widespread community involvement. Until communities step into this void of care, at-risk children will continue to pay the price.
God has called His bride, the local Church, to be the primary avenue to care for the most vulnerable.
CarePortal provides a fast, effective and scalable way for child welfare workers to partner with local church leaders to address the needs of hurting children and families in their own communities. Because this model supports government efforts, CarePortal is viewed as a complementary service, rather than competition. Most importantly, the local church moves off the sidelines and back into the center of meeting the needs of at-risk children and families.
Impact in the US
Still in the earliest stages, there are already more than 1,500 activated churches in more than 125 counties across 15 states. Requests are coming in from 63 agency partners, and the Church is responding! See Appendix E for Children Served Monthly, see Appendix F for Expansion Model.
Every time churches respond, whether they meet physical or relational needs, they help children & families in one of nine ways. Below you’ll find three of the most common ways churches help support, preserve or unite children & families around the nation. The dollar amount represents the economic impact (dollars saved) these requests have made for the child welfare system.
Visit careportal.org/impact for a more comprehensive view of how children, families & the economy are impacted through CarePortal requests & relationships.
How CarePortal Works
While most identify CarePortal with software capability, the key to the ministry circuit is the people using the platform. See Appendix B for more about Ministry Infrastructure.
The State’s child welfare workers vet needs of local families in crisis. They then enter the specifics into CarePortal, which uses technology to make local churches who have opted into the system aware. Here’s an example of an actual need that was recently placed in the system.
Next, the local churches invite members of their congregations to help. When someone in the local church responds, the system connects that individual directly with the child welfare worker.
After the need is met, the request is closed in the system by the worker and the entire church community is made aware.
It is. And it works.
"You Felt I Was Worth It"
One Story of One Church Doing a Little
Watch more of Kayla’s story at careportal.org/worth-it.
About the Global Orphan Project
Who are we?
The Global Orphan Project (GO Project or GO) is a global community committed to caring for local children and families in crisis — from Kansas City to Kampala. Founded in 2003 by Mike and Beth Fox, GO Project is headquartered in Missouri and partners with local churches throughout the U.S., Haiti, East Africa and India.
What do we do?
We partner with local leaders and “adopting” churches who care for orphaned and vulnerable children. We also launch businesses and support schools to help strengthen families in crisis.
Watch “Global Vision. Local Care.” and learn more at goproject.org/about.
CarePortal churches stay involved through team of volunteers and staff, an organized network, and dynamic technology that catalyzes daily engagement.
The Spectrum of Needs
Historically, churches have been viewed as a potential pool of fostering and adopting families. Although foster care and adoption are significant needs, they are just two out of hundreds of ways for individuals to be involved with the needs of the children and families touched by the child welfare system.
Everything CarePortal churches do can be found somewhere on this grid.
Tier 1 represents physical investments (cash, goods or services) by CarePortal churches to stabilize the environments for children and their caregivers. In some instances, provision of specific needs prevents children from being removed from the home. In other cases, physical investments allow certain individuals to participate as foster or adoptive parents, to keep their relative children in their care, or to provide assistance to youth aging out of the foster care system.
Tier 2 needs represent relational opportunities for CarePortal Churches to mobilize and strengthen families or support youth. These relational opportunities can come in the form of programs, mentoring/tutoring, or simply helping with normal life tasks as a friend or community support (babysitting, helping with transportation, etc.).
Tier 3 needs represent those needs requiring CarePortal Churches to mobilize individuals to welcome strangers into their homes. This includes partnering with preventative initiatives like Safe Families, developing resources for youth in PPC (Protective Homes), or working alongside organizations that license foster families and homes.
Under both the Organic and Implementing Partner models, CarePortal leadership looks for three conditions before launching:
Children Served Monthly
The real potential for exponential growth rests in the franchise model. Organizations with the same mission — to mobilize the church to care for children and families in crisis — already have boots on the ground throughout our nation. CarePortal offers a simple and scalable vehicle to connect a pre-existing local ministry with more churches, opening the door for them to serve their communities and fulfill their mission more effectively as a CarePortal Implementing Partner.