FBC Frisco is a proud partner Embrace Texas, a program that provides support and education to families caring for at-risk, foster and adopted children, churches, and related ministries. Below is an overview of what they do locally and nationally. We believe the Christian community must multiply its effectiveness through partnerships in order to answer the biblical mandate to “take up the cause of the fatherless” (Isaiah 1:17).
- Family Support
- Transition Services
- Child Advocacy
Support is the foundational component of any orphan care ministry effort. Before we can recruit foster or adoptive families, we must be able to sustain existing families with effective resources and education. Likewise, the best way to care for children is to equip and encourage their parents. We do this through monthly parent support groups in our community, respite nights providing 4-5 hours of free childcare for foster & adopted families, one-on-one parent coaching and placement resources like clothes, beds and equipment whenever a new child arrives in a foster, adoptive or kinship home.
Over 3,000 children are in foster care in Dallas/Ft. Worth and more than 900 of those are waiting to be adopted. Our ministry partners with over 30 child-placing agencies through the North Texas Recruitment Collaborative. Through these partnerships we not only connect local churches to agencies for the purposes of recruitment, we also take time to evaluate needed components in the licensing and training process for these new families to ensure they are adequately prepared and supported prior to receiving their first placement. In addition, Embrace Texas facilitates the Safe Families for Children program in the Collin County region to preserve families before parents reach the point of requiring CPS removal.
Each year hundreds of children in foster care “age out” when they turn 18 years old with no appropriate family member to care for them. While Embrace encourages foster & adoptive families to open their homes to these older youth and works with parents to meet the needs of a child who has been in foster care for some time, we understand adoption is not always an achievable solution. Therefore, we have developed a simple program to help provide these youth with the basic household items they need to establish their first apartment or dorm. For more information or to develop a similar program in your region, visit www.SimplestofGifts.com. We are also working with local transition centers to develop mentoring and workforce initiatives to help these young adults enter independence.
Due to the nature and involvement of the government in foster care and adoption, we not only partner with the State in the efforts mentioned above, we work in legislative and policy reform to advocate for children’s best interests. At-risk, foster and adopted children often cross many systems including schools, health care, juvenile justice and the courts. Therefore, we are members of advocacy efforts on the State level with the Texas Child Protection Roundtable and the Texas Supreme Court Children’s Commission as well as the Family Violence Protection Council in Dallas. These avenues allow us to be a voice for the faith-based community with legislators, bureaucrats and officials impacting the lives of children and families across Texas.
- DFW Alliance
- Texas Support Network
- Ministry Development
The DFW Alliance is a group of church-based orphan care ministries founded in 2006 by Tapestry at Irving Bible Church. Embrace currently facilitates the Alliance in order to collaborate and sharpen efforts to meet the needs of children and families in our region. Each church ministry is unified by a statement of faith while pursuing efforts to support, recruit and educate families in their respective communities. For more information or to join, visit www.dfwalliance.org.
With more than 30,000 children entering foster care each year across the State and 18 million “double orphans” worldwide, there is no way for one ministry to do it all. Thankfully, Texas is a State full of evangelical churches and faith-based community organizations ready to serve. Texas Support Network is a training and networking initiative to empower local churches to support the foster & adoptive families in their area as a platform for furthering ministry efforts. Churches send teams to the bi-annual training events located across the state, establish their support groups and then link to the website to connect to families and other opportunities. Visit www.TexasSupportNetwork.org for more information.
Routinely, Embrace connects to new or existing ministries in other parts of the country seeking help as they begin or improve their work in orphan care. Through our partnerships with the Christian Alliance for Orphans and the North American Council on Adoptable Children, we provide one-on-one consulting with ministry teams or regional training opportunities for groups of churches answering the biblical mandates to “care for orphans in their distress” (James 1:27).