The Call and Opportunity
God has made it abundantly clear in the Bible that caring for orphans and vulnerable children should be of concern to those who claim to follow him. Isaiah 1:17 says we are to “learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless….” and James 1:27 tells us we are visit orphans in their affliction. The Greek word for “visit” is episkeptomai, and it implies a relational type of care. It is checking in one someone with the intention of helping them.
We are called to lovingly enter into the lives of vulnerable children and fight for justice on their behalf. We may feel hopeless in eradicating some of the circumstances that lend to children becoming vulnerable in the first place, but that must not stop us from caring for them. Children do not choose their circumstances, they are born into them.
How might you give of your time, talent, and treasure? You likely won’t have to go as far as you may have thought. You might consider adopting or fostering, or partnering with an organization that is working to help vulnerable children locally and around the world.
Ways to Support Children in Need
Adopt a child that needs a permanent family
Locally through MCFD: Over 1,000 children and youth in British Columbia foster care are waiting to be adopted. The Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD) places approximately 400 children each year, but many children and youth are still waiting. More information at Adoptive Families Association of BC.
Private Adoption Locally or Globally: You can use an adoption agency to begin the adoption process either locally and globally. Westside is in the process of setting up an adoption fund to assist families with some of the costs. More information at BC Adoption Agencies.
Foster a child or support someone who does
In BC there are over 9,000 children in care, and another 1,000 children waiting for a temporary home to become available. There are also over 1,000 children in foster care who are waiting to be adopted into a permanent family. These children need families who are willing to understand the complex model of care and support they require to grow and develop in a positive way.
Maybe what is feasible for you is committing to babysitting twice a month for a family with a foster child, or getting connected through the Ministry with a parent who is in need of occasional respite care for his or her child. You don’t have to have a lot of space, or even give a lot of time, to be able to make the occasional big difference. More information at Foster Now.
Partner/Volunteer with organizations that work with vulnerable children and youth
- Youth Unlimited: relationally engages in wholistic work with vulnerable youth in partnership with the Church and the community.
- Inner Hope Youth Ministries: walks alongside youth and families in East Vancouver nurturing hope, belonging and transformation through support, discipleship, life skills, and housing.
Giving & Financial Assistance
Adoption can be expensive. You can donate to Westside's Benevolent Fund to help families with the adoption process. Please visit the give page page and choose the Benevolent Fund in the drop down.
If you are considering the call to adopt and are seeking financial assistance, please contact Aaron Rose (firstname.lastname@example.org) to apply for a grant.
Meet Jessica: Foster caregiver and former youth in care. More details on fostering here.
Questions? Email email@example.com.