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ADVOCACY

SPEAKING UP FOR THE DEFENSE OF A VOICELESS CHILD

"It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men."

- Frederick Douglass

How We Empower Advocacy

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The Starting Place

INCREASE AWARENESS

We enable more advocates for children by increasing awareness of the facts of child maltreatment and the assessment tools needed to know if a child is in danger. We fill the gaps where Child Protective Services fails to protect the majority of children by being the watchful eyes and ears of the community. The goal is to create "no safe spaces" for predators and pedophiles within the United States by training our citizens to safe guard children!

People During Workshop

The Tools & Resources

REAL-WORLD TRAINING

We provide more positive outcomes for children by training & coaching everyday individuals in the realities of child maltreatment and effective advocacy. We provide individuals with the most diverse and realistic training possible through our proprietary training developed from over 500 hours of collaboration with experienced frontline parents, law enforcement, child welfare professionals, caretakers, and child abuse survivors.

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The Key

FAITH-FILLED STRATEGY

We unite faith, family, and frontline advocacy to meet the needs of children desperately needing someone to step up and be their voice! By mobilizing and empowering the everyday Believer to be aware of what child abuse looks like, the signs of predator behavior, and what to do when you come across it is vitally essential to producing safe communities. We are to be an

effective voice of advocacy amid the noise of broken situations.

What's Taught in the Advocacy Training?

 

1. Effective Emotional Intelligence - Provides individuals confirmation they are ready and able to utilize the emotional, social, and relational skills needed to engage in broken situations.

2. Child Child Centered Focus - Provides individuals, no matter their level of experience, the mindset and focus needed to be effective advocates of children.

3. Foundational Awareness & Assessment - Provides individuals with the awareness and truth of child endangerment within their own communities and the tools to know what to do.

 

4. Purpose Driven Professionalism - Provides advocates with the ability to be a strategic voice that is heard amid the opinionated noise of broken situations, systems, and societies.

 

5. Faith Filled Advocacy - Provides advocates with the steadfastness to engage in the spiritual battle being fought over a child’s life trajectory, thereby interrupting destructive generational cycles.

 

6. Applying Advocacy Strategies - Provides advocates with applicable peace-filled processes that empower strategic positive outcomes for the child and other parties involved.

COMING SOON!
NATIONWIDE ~ ONLINE ~ INTERACTIVE
ADVOCACY TRAINING PROGRAM

Launching in early 2022!

To participate in an exclusive pilot program within the KC metro area please contact us to enroll in live training sessions.

THE MOST FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

FOSTER CARE & ADOPTION

How Can I Become a Foster Parent?


Becoming a foster or adoptive parent can feel overwhelming and intimidating to most, but it doesn't have to be. Through direct and relationship-based connections, we help you make an educated and peace-filled decision for your family. With experienced foster families, we are ready and available to answer all of your questions and assist your family in making the best decision. Families enrolled in our Family First program will be provided with a dedicated support team to help throughout their fostering/adoption process. Including being a guide, an advocate, and a resource as you become licensed with your state. Simply put, our job is to help make it easier for you. We do not have to fill the obligations required by state agencies, as we are an independent organization whose sole mission is to serve you as you serve children! We will help you find a licensing agency, and we will work with them to provide you as smooth of a process as possible. To request more information about fostering, please contact us, and we would be happy to help!




Can I Adopt from Foster Care


Yes, adopting from foster care is possible. Many choose to foster and also have the desire to adopt. As we approach this subject, we must first remember three crucial factors about adoption. 1) The Way Your Approach Adoption is Important The desire to adopt is the heart of God within you, desiring to love a child the way He has loved you. Families stepping up to provide homes for children in need is a beautiful and redemptive thing. Adoption is on God's heart, He sets the lonely in families (Psalms 68:6), and He cares about children having families. As you consider adoption for your family, no matter what type of adoption you are considering, we urge you to examine your heart and ask why you want to do it. How you approach the topic of adoption is very important. Because adoption has nothing to do with GETTING a child, it has everything to do with GIVING your family to one. As adoptive parents, we know what it is like to desire to adopt and put your heart out there and risk disappointment. It is a big decision. The first thing to realize is that no adoption process is easy. All of them provide challenges and frustration. Initially, we thought foster care was the most challenging type of adoption. Now that we have experienced it, we no longer agree with that idea. We are here to help you understand what it looks like to foster and/or adopt from the US foster care system. We are here to help your family make a peace-filled decision. 2. Adoption is NOT the Goal of Fostering, but it is a Potential Outcome Fostering is about providing a loving home to a child until the courts can determine what is in the child's best interest. Reunification with their biological family will be the primary goal. As a foster parent, your role will be to provide a safe and loving home to the child, care for them, advocate for them, and support the process of reunification/restoration. Many people falsely assume that adoption is God's only desired outcome for children in foster care. It is not. When we look at the life of Jesus as our example, we see that He is the ultimate Restorer! His ways are always to provide an opportunity for restoration. Foster care is the same. It allows biological parents to receive support and resources they need to pursue reunification with their children. As foster parents, we are not only serving the children in our homes; we are cheering on the parents to seek and receive the restoration Jesus desires for them. After the due process has been made, and IF the parent(s) are unable or unwilling to be restored to their child, they will become available for adoption. In our introductory training, " Becoming a Steadfast Child-Centered Advocate," we will teach you practical ways to support reunification while maintaining healthy boundaries. We will also show you how to have a voice for the child whenever you have concerns. As foster parents, our primary OBJECTIVE is always to advocate and serve the child's best interest. 3) There are Many Children in Foster Care Waiting to be Adopted There are children whose parents' rights are terminated, and the child is legally ready to be adopted. There are currently over 125,000 children available for adoption within the US foster care system. Many of these children have been waiting for years for a family to step up and adopt them. These children have many different reasons for a long-awaited adoption. Sometimes it is due to being a part of a sibling group or because of their age; sometimes, they have struggled due to severe childhood trauma or medical conditions. For many of these children, they have lost hope of being adopted into a family. If you feel called to adoption, we highly encourage you to look at the adoption profiles of children who are waiting for forever families at adoptuskids.org To request more information about adoption, please contact us, and we would be happy to help!




How Will Fostering or Adoption Effect My Biological Children?


Fostering and adoption can be an excellent experience for your biological children! Their compassion and their awareness of the brokenness of others grow exponentially. Many families often state that their biological children are the ones convincing them to continue opening their homes to children in need. The key to fostering or adopting beneficial to your children is to approach it with practical wisdom and boundaries. We recommend families with children to utilize the following tips when contemplating these decisions for their family:

  • Be in Unity. Unity is the most critical aspect of fostering or adoption because it is not something you do by yourself. It will affect every member of the household, and it needs to be a family decision. We encourage incorporating your children into the discussion, starting around the age of six or age-appropriate for your specific child.
  • Create Boundaries. Boundaries provide assurance and safety to your children that you will protect them; this is very important! We cannot sacrifice our families on the altar of good intentions. Establishing predefined boundaries as a family before fostering or adopting helps the family stay in unity and reduce chaos. One of our favorites is that "we will not take the placement of a child unless everyone in the family agrees."
  • Teach as You Go. Many of the things that come up while engaging the brokeness of others are complicated. It can be challenging for your children to comprehend, mostly all at once. Creating a teaching culture that addresses things as they come up is vital to children feeling safe. It also reduces confusion and creates an open dialogue for your child to express anything that may concern them.
  • Don't Make Promises. We cannot guarantee any outcomes in fostering or even adoption. It would be best to communicate with your children multiple times; "we don't know what will happen." Even if the case looks like it is going a particular direction, don't make any promises! We often say, "we will let you know on adoption day"!
  • Give Visuals. Visuals are potent reminders of our words, and this is especially useful for homes with younger children. We recommend using picture boards to explain the differences between "forever family" and "children we love."
We will dive into these tips and many more in our introductory training, " Becoming a Steadfast Child-Centered Advocate," made available to you through our Family First program.




What are the Costs Involved with Fostering or Adopting from Foster Care?


In most states, Fostering incurs no cost for the families to have background checks, training, or licensure. All expenses are absorbed by the state in which you are licensed. Adopting a child from foster care is often funded by the state, and in most cases, there are few or no fees.




Is the Advocacy Training Helpful for those Involved in Foster Care?


YES!!! We have MANY curriculum currators from various roles within foster care who have been involved in developing this training. We use a lot of foster care examples because it is one of the most broken and restrictive systems to do advocacy work in. We encourage foster parents, adoptive parents, CASA Advocates, social workers, and child welfare professionals to go through the training as a majority of the topics are not taught in state standarized training programs. Also, this training was currated from over 500 hours of collaboration with child welfare profesisonals, foster parents, social workers, adoptive parents, law enforcement, and victims of severe childhood abuse. This training has over 15 individual contributors providing you with one of the most diverse and experienced trainings ever curated for effective advocacy.





ADVOCACY TRAINING

Why Do I Need Advocacy Training?


With over 80% of our country’s victimized children being denied safety from governmental programs like foster care, our exposure to endangered children within our communities is at an all time high. It is no longer IF you will encounter a situation with an endangered child, it is WHEN. Don’t you want to know what to do when that happens? We need effective advocates to speak up for our country’s endangered children. This training has been SPECIFICALLY CREATED FOR YOU, every day people who may have no previous experience with child endangerment. This training is about equipping you in the REALITIES of advocating for children amid broken situations. Our currriculum contributors HAVE LIVED THIS on the frontlines fighting for children in a variety of capacities! There are no theories here! Our mission to empower advocacy is too urgent to become another child welfare organization who settles within the constraints of current systems - these children’s lives depend upon us having dedicated action within communities and we know that together, we will not fail them.




Why is the Advocacy Training Faith-Based?


We have a Biblically-based emphasis because it is who we are; we are faith-filled people! Our Christian faith has been a central part of our advocacy journeys. We cannot separate our faith from our experiences because our faith gave us strength when everything else failed. Yet, it was wisdom that grounded our faith in practicality. Far too long, we have attempted to approach complex issues with either faith OR practicality. Our challenge is, why not both? When we look at Nehemiah's Biblical story, we can learn some simple and profound truths. He was able to accomplish things of great magnitude and in a short amount of time (Neh 4). But how? We learn many inspiring things from this story, but the one we want to talk about here is the partnership of faith and practicality. With a sword in one hand and a hammer in another, he led a team of people that rebuilt the broken places in record time, and they did it all in the context of their family! We, too, have seen profound and supernatural things happen when faith (sword) and practical wisdom (hammer) were brought together in the context of fighting for children who come from broken places. Practicality alone amid broken situations, faulty systems, and confused societies will leave you discouraged and frustrated. Faith without works (practicality) is dead (James 2:26) and will leave you full of discouragement. There is power when we bring together the influence of both faith and practical wisdom. The tools, resources, and ideas we provide through our organization and our Family First program come from the overflow of our faith, our own family stories, and our fostering experiences. We are unapoligetically a people of Faith, Family & Fostering!




Do I Have What it Takes to be a Child Advocate?


The beauty is that JESUS IS THE HERO OF EVERY CHILD'S STORY, so you don't have to be! Thankfully, being an advocate is not about being the hero. It's merely about walking in obedience to what you have felt called to do. No individuals has everything they need before entering advocacy work; this is why our mission is to educate, train, and coach you to do it! We are here to teach you how, but only you can determine your why! The first step to building positive outcomes for both the child and you, is that a child-centered approach must necessitate your why. From our experience, we have found that individuals who have contemplated and processed the following three items tend to be most successful in building positive outcomes. These items are not requirements, but suggestions on things that need considerable thought. We encourage you to discuss, pray, and weigh these items carefully. If you need someone to talk to, please contact us, and we would be happy to help! 1. Feel Called to Do It - having a personal conviction that you feel called is an essential component that will carry you thru difficult moments. Approaching advocacy from guilt or good intentions to "save the world" often creates a lack of boundaries and chaos. However, coming to the journey from a calling-based perspective tends to make room for peace, even amid an overwhelming idea. We are here to help you and your family make a peace-filled decision. 2. Your Faith in a Just God, Not a System - In advocacy of children you will encounter many broken governmental systems. One of the primary ones will be Child Protective Services. As an advocate, you will encounter the system's injustice and brokenness up close and personal. Facing these injustices can be extremely difficult when you expect the system to provide justice, but fails to do so. The system is broken, and yes, things need to improve. However, talking about the brokenness of the system can quickly become a waste of energy. We must meet these injustices with a two-fold approach, practical application of strategy, and faith in a God Who is just! We know that this topic is difficult, and the healing process is complicated. We encourage you to first ask a self retrospective question, "Am I full of anger or turmoil about the injustices I have experienced, or have I found an element of peace and trust in God despite it?" Your answer will help you determine if advocacy work is right for you in this season. As you come face-to-face with victimized children's gross injustices, it is easy to become bitter and angry. Knowing how to navigate, process, and dialogue with the Lord and others through these emotions is central to being a peace-driven advocate. We will help you learn how to be an effective advocate and how to walk it out practical, but only you can determine if you feel ready to take that emotional journey on. 3. Be Teachable and Willing to Learn - thru our advocacy training program we equip individuals, like you in the advocacy of victimized children. As you go thru your journey, you will see things you cannot unsee. You will know things that you can't unlearn. You will have opportunities to show compassion in ways that you never thought possible. There is nothing like child advocacy; it will change you; it is a beautiful journey that will transform your life and your family. But it requires you to be teachable, humble, and compassionate. The hardest of all, it will need you to set aside your own opinions to benefit another. We understand that all of these topics are somewhat complex. Don't worry; we are here to help you through them. We will address all of them and more in our in-depth advocacy training, " Becoming a Steadfast Child-Centered Advocate." This training and many other services and resources are available to you through our Protect Kids program.




What Does the Advocacy Training Provide Me?


Our Properietary Advocacy Training Provides You with the Following: - Reality-based training based on real-life stories from experienced advocates and child welfare professionals - Practical steps on how to advocate for a child amid a broken system or situation - Methods to prepare for the emotional demands of engaging in broken situations with endangered children - Professional skills that enable effective advocacy, where your voice can be heard amid the noise - Real life case studies from multiple individuals with a wide-range of experiences and perspectives - Skills and tips on how to approach and handle difficult people - Biblically-based approach to responding to the severe injustice you will witness - How to minimize collateral damage to you & your family when engaging in broken situations





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Answering the Call

We are here to help YOU ANSWER THE CALL to be a voice of advocacy for children. This can often feel overwhelming, mixed with a wide range of emotions. Take comfort, we have once been where you are. We know the questions and anxiousness you feel. The thought of getting involved in broken situations often feel overwhelming. It doesn't have to! We are here to help you obtain information and assist you in walking out a peace-filled journey that can create positive outcomes for children, for you, and  your family. If child advocacy is your assignment, we are here to help you confidently partner with the Father, to give a child the most priceless gift of all, 

LIFE-ALTERING LOVE...a love that holds arms wide open, with a heart exposed!