On November 2nd we will turn our attention to the most vulnerable persons in the world; the orphan. Our focus this year for Orphan Sunday is “Fostering for Hope.” Probably better stated as fostering hope. Given the ups and downs, ins and outs that children experience in the foster care system believers have a fantastic opportunity to provide hope. On Orphan Sunday we will have a group of church members and guests who will share about their experience as a child in foster care and as believers bringing children into their home out of the foster care system.
When children age out of foster care what is the cost? According to a recent study, for every child that ages out of system it will cost taxpayers $300,000 in social costs like public assistance, incarceration, and lost wages to a community over that person’s lifetime. With roughly 20,000 children aging out each year the financial cost is enormous at roughly $6 billion in social cost to the United States annually. Did you know that:
• More than one in five will become homeless after age 18.
• Only 58 percent will graduate high school by age 19 (compared to 87 percent of all 19 year olds).
• 71 percent of young women are pregnant by 21, facing higher rates of unemployment, criminal conviction, public assistance, and involvement in the child welfare system.
• At the age of 24, only half are employed.
• Fewer than 3 percent will earn a college degree by age 25 (compared to 28 percent of all 25 year old.
• One in four will be involved in the justice system within two years of leaving the foster care system.
I hope you plan to join on November 2nd for Orphan Sunday to learn about how you can bring hope to children in foster care. Below is a schedule of activities.
During the Adult Bible Fellowship hour starting at 9:30AM guest speaker Dan Lerro will provide instruction, stories and encouragement for those who are interested in learning more about fostering. During the 10:45AM worship service Dan Lerro will be sharing a message to encourage the congregation to love the orphan as God’s Word has called us. At 6:00PM there will be a panel discussion and desserts with several guests who have experience in foster care. This is a great opportunity to ask questions about the foster care system, the complexities of foster relationships, and the joy that it brings when we love in this way.