Did you catch the article in the December issue of The Lutheran magazine about the incredible impact that Lutheran social ministry has on so many through the blessing of foster care and adoption services? Read on to hear how our members in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Colorado are changing lives, and how the national network of LSA members is coming together to provide support and care to children who are getting older and leaving the foster care system, to help fight the challenges they face by not having a traditional family support system.
Lutheran social ministry has a rich tradition of serving children and families through foster care and adoption services. During this season of blessings and gratitude, we honor this legacy and the countless people in our community of faith who answer the call to serve. Read on for a wrap-up of stories, information and resources on helping strengthen families and communities.
Honoring National Adoption Month – November 2015
During National Adoption Month we celebrate the many members of our social ministry community who answer the call to love and serve our neighbor by working with children and families in creating permanent, loving homes across the United States.
This year, National Adoption Month focuses on older youth adoption from foster care. The LSA network has a long tradition of serving children, youth and families, including more than 20 organizations that provide adoption services and more than 30 that provide foster care services.
Our social ministry organizations are working together to provide critical services to youth like this in need. We work together to embrace them, lift them up and help them build abundant lives and to know that they are cared for.
A Tremendous Need for Foster Parents & Foster Families
In May, we celebrated Foster Care Month by sharing stories of just a few of the children served by Lutheran foster care ministries. Please visit http://www.lutheranservices.org/content/lsa-celebrates-foster-care-month to read about Madeline, Joseph, Carlos and more who inspire us with their personal journeys.
There is a significant need for foster parents and families, which are a gift and a calling from God. To find out how you can become a foster home or adoptive family or help provide a brighter holiday for someone in need, please visit our website "find a member" feature to search for a Lutheran social ministry organization near you: http://lserv.imiscloud.com/Members/Membership/Directory/LSA_Members/Directory1.aspx
Special Help for Youth & Families – & Children Leaving the Foster Care System
One project the LSA network is tackling together is addressing the challenges faced by young adults who are at a high risk of leaving the foster care system without having permanent family connections. When they become adults (18 or 21, depending on the state), they can face tremendous obstacles as they try to continue their education or find housing and jobs, and may wind up homeless, victims of sex trafficking, or in the judicial system.
There is very limited funding for services for these youth, and many LSA members report being the only provider in the area that is helping support them to become self-sufficient adults.
"Imagine the life of a young adult in the child welfare system," said Charlotte Haberaecker, President and CEO of Lutheran Services in America. "Maybe as a child you hoped for an adoption miracle…and over time you were moved from one foster home to another, sometimes more than dozen times – suddenly you turn 18 and you're on your own, without help, support or guidance. Our social ministry organizations are working together to provide critical services to youth like this in need. We work together to embrace them, lift them up and help them build abundant lives as self-sufficient adults who know that they are cared for and have support they can turn to."
With more than 100 LSA members serving children, youth and families in 33 states across the country, the LSA network is a strong presence, fighting for the wellbeing of children and families. Supporting LSA ensures that this network of Lutheran social ministry can continue to serve millions of people each year – where it's needed and when it's needed most. Like the Lutherans who answered God's call to serve and founded the very ministries upon which the LSA network is based today, you can also be a vital part of the Lutheran legacy of service, and join them in answering the call. Learn more about supporting Lutheran social ministry and the LSA network at www.lutheranservices.org/donate.
1 in 50 Americans are served by Lutheran Social Ministry
Lutheran Services in America, Incorporated (LSA) is a network of Lutheran social ministry organizations that collectively touches the lives of 1 in 50 people in the U.S. each year. Today, LSA members answer the call by providing a broad range of critical services such as care for seniors, disaster relief, refugee resettlement, disability support, children and family services, caring for unaccompanied minors and more. LSA creates a connected, strong and thriving network of Lutheran social ministry organizations that share a guiding faith and a mission to transform the lives of the people and communities they serve.
Connect with Lutheran Social Ministry
Stay up to date with the latest news and information - connect with LSA at Facebook.com/LutheranServices or Twitter @LutheranSvcs and sign up to receive the LSA Together newsletter at www.lutheranservices.org/subscribe.