Safe Refuge for Children and Families expands the community safety net by providing parents in need with mentoring relationships and tangible support during times of crisis.
Volunteer families, prompted solely by compassion, mentor at-risk families, and Host Families open their homes to children, allowing parents to work out their problems without having to worry about losing custody of the children.
The process of becoming a Safe Refuge volunteer varies depending on your level of involvement.
Those who open their homes to children are rigorously screened. The screening process includes:
- Home visit
- Ongoing training
- Background check
The approval process takes approximately two months.
Be a Host Family
- Interest Form: Fill out the interest form on this site or contact our office directly at 925.566.8050 to request an application packet. If your local church has not yet already implemented the Safe Refuge movement into your church mission, then you will be connected to a local host church to walk alongside and support you as a Host Family.
- Home Visit: As soon as we receive your completed application, we will contact you to set up a time for a home visit. This visit gives us an opportunity to get acquainted and also allow our staff to visually confirm that your home is a safe place.
- Training: Training provides opportunities for personal growth that can help make your experience with Safe Refuge more rewarding both for you, your family and for children who may come into your home. Safe Refuge training is available online and takes about four hours to complete (volunteers without internet access can request a DVD version).
- Background Check/Fingerprinting: Every person over the age of 18 in your household will be required to have a Live Scan (an inkless electronic fingerprinting & background check). Information how to do this and where to go is included in your application packet.
- Letters of Recommendation: It is our policy to recruit Safe Refuge volunteers whose lives reflect stable personal values and morals. Thus, volunteers need to provide three letters of reference from people who can attest to this aspect of their lives.
Be a Safe Refuge Church
Safe Refuge Churches provide a vital role in our community of caregivers offering support and resources to volunteer families. The process of launching a Safe Refuge ministry in your church is simple and will add a sense of richness and relevance to your community of faith.
If your church is interested in becoming a vital and vibrant contributor in your community, becoming a Safe Refuge Church is easy. Follow these simple steps and get started today:
1. Contact our office and fill out the church profile form including a staff contact that will represent the volunteer ministry.
2. Meet with local Safe Refuge for Children and Families agency to select ministry launch date and your plan to share Safe Refuge with your congregation. (All churches).
3. Work with local agency as they initially handle administrative duties and case management as you create or implement Safe Refuge within your existing church ministries or start a new one. (Only churches that select this level of involvement).
4. Once you identify volunteer leadership, your local agency will help to train and support them as they begin to tackle their new roles. (Only churches that select this level of involvement).
Be a Safe Refuge Friend
Safe Refuge for Children and Families is committed to supporting parents and bringing love and healing into families that are often isolated and alone. By becoming a Family Friend, your mentoring relationship becomes the cornerstone of healthy living and healing as your family supports and strengthens another family so that they may thrive. The theology regarding God’s promise that he puts the lonely in a family is manifested in this primary relationship between your two families. In addition, Family Friends can come alongside host families, offering them necessary support as they host a child in their home.
Responsibilities of a Family Friend may include, but are not limited to:
- Providing friendship
- Listening when a parent wants to talk
- Providing encouragement when a parent needs a little extra support
- Sharing helpful information about parenting and life in general
- Connecting needy parents to a vast resource network of services and items available
- Advocating with for families seeking the proper academic setting, mental and physical health opportunities and other resources for their children
- Supporting Host Families with children placed in their homes by providing meals, babysitting, tutoring, etc.
A lack of basic resources can often be what moves a struggling family to become a family in crisis. Tangible items such as a crib or coat, or services from a dentist or mechanic may be the hand of help a family needs to keep themselves from losing touch with hope.
Safe Refuge for Children and Families Friends are a collection of resource rich individuals who have the ability to share their skills or material goods with families that are on the edge. Guided by our Family Friends, distribution of these gifts are connected directly to urgent, pressing needs of families.
Family Friends include:
- Those able to share material goods
By becoming a Resource Friend you fill an essential role in the Safe Refuge for Children and Families program. No one can provide exactly what you can share with a family in crisis. Contact your local SFFC agency or sign up at youshare.org and register. This will enable you to receive automatic updates via e-mail or a text message on your cellphone if there is an emergency need that you could meet. You will be required to watch a short video to familiarize yourself with the YouShare program.
Be a Safe Refuge Ministry Lead
The ministry lead is the main liaison between the Safe Refuge for Children and Families office and his or her church community. The ministry lead is responsible for encouraging & recruiting volunteers to support one another in the shared mission of serving the families who come to SFFC for help. If you are interested in serving in this way, please fill out our interest form or call the office directly more information on next steps.
Be a Safe Refuge Coach
A Family Coach is assigned to each host family. The family coach will visit regularly and serve as a support to the family as they encounter the joys and struggles that come with opening their home to a child and building a relationship with the parents in crisis. They will also assist in gathering the support of Family Friends in their local church to come along side the host family and the family in crisis with any assistance they might need. Please fill out an interest form at our interest form or call the office directly to request an application packet.