safe families for children

Safe Families™ mobilizes a network of compassionate volunteers to wrap around families facing crisis. While some volunteers temporarily provide housing for kids, others step in to mentor parents and help them achieve their goals. These supportive relationships provide the safety net many vulnerable families need to keep children out of the foster care system and achieve long-term stability. Many families today are isolated, they may not have anyone to call when difficult circumstances arise, leaving them vulnerable and forcing parents to make tough choices. 

“Do I leave my sick child home alone today, or do I take a day off of work and risk losing my job? If I lose my job, what will happen to us?”

“I know I need help, but if I enter a rehab facility who will take care of my children? I’m scared that they will be placed in a foster home and I won’t be able to get them back.”

“If I leave this abusive relationship, my kids and I will be homeless. I can’t do anything until I have a better plan, I feel stuck.”

This is where Safe Families™ can step in! Host Family volunteers provide a safe, nurturing home for children, allowing parents to focus on crisis situations without worrying about losing parental custody. Family Friend and Family Coach volunteers provide an extra layer of support for the Host Family and parents working towards stability. Relationships formed through Safe Families for Children are long-term, so the next time crisis strikes parents do have someone to call! Building Families for Children is the local implementer of Safe Families for Children™ in Maryland. To learn more about the Safe Families for Children movement, visit the national websiteTo get involved as a volunteer, email tammy@buildingfamiliesforchildren.org.

safe families for children

Safe Families™ mobilizes a network of compassionate volunteers to wrap around families facing crisis. While some volunteers temporarily provide housing for kids, others step in to mentor parents and help them achieve their goals. These supportive relationships provide the safety net many vulnerable families need to keep children out of the foster care system and achieve long-term stability. Many families today are isolated, they may not have anyone to call when difficult circumstances arise, leaving them vulnerable and forcing parents to make tough choices… 

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 Do I leave my sick child home alone today, or do I take a day off of work and risk losing my job? If I lose my job, what will happen to us?”

“I know I need help, but if I enter a rehab facility who will take care of my children? I’m scared that they will be placed in a foster home and I won’t be able to get them back.”

“If I leave this abusive relationship, my kids and I will be homeless. I can’t do anything until I have a better plan, I feel stuck.”

This is where Safe Families™ can step in! Host Family volunteers provide a safe, nurturing home for children, allowing parents to focus on crisis situations without worrying about losing parental custody. Family Friend and Family Coach volunteers provide an extra layer of support for the Host Family and parents working towards stability. Relationships formed through Safe Families for Children are long-term, so the next time crisis strikes parents do have someone to call!

Building Families for Children is the local implementer of Safe Families for Children™ in Maryland. To learn more about the Safe Families for Children movement, visit the national websiteTo get involved as a volunteer, email tammy@buildingfamiliesforchildren.org.

do you need assistance?

If you or someone you know is interested in having their children hosted through the Safe Families program please follow the process below. If you have any questions, please don’t hesistate to call us at 410-872-1050 or email safefamilies@buildingfamiliesforchildren.org. 

ABOUT THE PROCESS

The first step is to talk to one of our Family Support Coordinators by calling 410-872-1050 extension 1010. We will have you fill out some forms for you and your child and then a family support coordinator will contact you to discuss the situation and determine availability for assistance. If hosting is available, we’ll complete a few permission forms with you. Learn more about how Safe Families™ can help.

 

TESTIMONIALS

“I was a man in the dark who had to watch his family live without real help and real people who cared. Safe Families stepped into our dark place and pulled our family into the light. You showed us love and peace. You gave us hope. You did not judge us. With the help of faithful and loving volunteers, you opened  your homes to us and took us in with loving arms. Thank you.”

Single Father, Supported by SFFC Volunteers

Safe Families is a blessing. I tell mothers that they aren’t giving up their child. I tell them what they are doing is letting a trained caregiver care for their child while they pull themselves together. I’ve seen it happen. Safe Families works.

Dorita Dorm, Women and Children’s Shelter in Carroll County

TESTIMONIALS

“I was a man in the dark who had to watch his family live without real help and real people who cared. Safe Families stepped into our dark place and pulled our family into the light. You showed us love and peace. You gave us hope. You did not judge us. With the help of faithful and loving volunteers, you opened  your homes to us and took us in with loving arms. Thank you.”

Single Father, Supported by SFFC Volunteers

Safe Families is a blessing. I tell mothers that they aren’t giving up their child. I tell them what they are doing is letting a trained caregiver care for their child while they pull themselves together. I’ve seen it happen. Safe Families works.

Dorita Dorm, Women and Children’s Shelter in Carroll County

Become a Volunteer

Are you interested in learning more about becoming a Safe Families for Children volunteer? Without volunteers like you this program wouldn’t exist, and families in desperate need of community wouldn’t have a safety net. Email safefamilies@buildingfamiliesforchildren.org or call 410-872-1050 if you have any questions. You can learn more about each volunteer role in the drop down boxes below. 

Host Family
Online Application

If you are looking for a truly rewarding and challenging experience, consider becoming a Safe Families Host Family. You will make a lasting impression on a child in need and possibly change the trajectory of a family in crisis. Host Families serve as the backbone of the Safe Families movement. Without families opening their homes and opening their hearts, we could not care for vulnerable children in our communities.

To be a Host Family, you must be at least 25 years old, emotionally and financially stable, mature, law abiding, healthy, and active. You also must be willing to engage in a long-term friendship with a family in need, agree to not use drugs, and refrain from using profanity or engaging in other negative behavior that may impact a child.

 

Family Friend
Online Application 

When you volunteer as a Family Friend, Safe Families for Children will connect you with an at-risk family that would benefit from a healthy support system. And Family Friends can also support Host Families by providing meals, respite care, transportation, etc.

Family Friends encourage and strengthen families in crisis so that they may thrive. Performing small tasks, such as dropping off diapers or babysitting for a few hours, provides families with support and builds relationships.

As a Family Friend, you will:

  • provide friendship and encouragement
  • share helpful information about parenting and life
  • support parents who have children staying with Host Families
  • advocate for families seeking resources for their children, such as schools or mental and physical health services

 

Family Coach
Online Application

You can play a vital role in Safe Families for Children by volunteering as a Family Coach to help parents in crisis get back on their feet. As a Family Coach, you will:

  • Support the Host Family. This ensures that families get the support and resources they need to provide a safe and nurturing environment for children.
  • Monitor children’s safety. Because safety is a top priority, the Family Coach begins assessing safety within 48 hours of a child moving in with the Host Family—and each week for at least a month.
  • Provide a family in need with resources, such as community referrals and assistance in making their appointments.
  • Facilitate the relationship between the Host Family and the Family in need with compassion and empathy.

You will also:

  • Listen to Host Families and Families in need. The Family Coach provides space for them to express their thoughts and concerns.
  • Manage expectations. For example, the Host Family may feel that they must fix problems or situations that are not their responsibility. Alternately, if a hosting arrangement seems longer than expected, the Family Coach is needed to temper expectations.
  • Show empathy, hope, grace, and compassion. We work hard to err on the side of grace.
  • Problem solve. Family Coaches work with the church and other community resources to assist Families in need.
  • Reassure. Stressful situations require a calm presence and the ability to give hope to those who may feel hopeless.

Questions?

Do you have a question about receiving help from Safe Famlies? Do you have questions about volunteering? Lets talk!