Helping Children Through the CarePortal
Grace Community Church has been doing some really incredible work in our community of Sarasota through CarePortal—a state run program that brings together the family, church and community to create a holistic, healthy approach to caring for kids. Grace’s Community Partner, Bridge A Life is the onboarding partner for CarePortal in District 12 (Bradenton, Sarasota, and DeSoto).
Grace launched CarePortal in July, 2021. Here are a couple reasons why we partnered with Bridge A Life on this project:
1. Sarasota and Manatee have 100 more children in foster care than Miami and $50,000,000 LESS in federal/state funding than Miami for foster care.
2. The average career length for a case worker is 18 months (including their schooling) before they burn out.
There is a huge need in Sarasota to help families stay together and keep children out of foster care. Fortunately, the people of Grace Community Church have been stepping up and being intentional neighbors in our community—both in meeting the needs of children and families and ministering to hurting case workers.
Listen to what Courtney Ross, the Regional Manager of CarePortal for District 12, had to say about Grace’s ministry:
“I wanted to let you know that we’re celebrating an amazing milestone in the partnership between CarePortal and Grace Community Church! Your response team—under the leadership of Grace—have served (more than) fifteen vulnerable children in our area! To break it down a little more, in about four months, they have served 16 children through 11 different requests from the Emergency Response and Assessment Team through the Safe Children’s Coalition. The Grace Community Team has together provided four beds with bedding, a crib with bedding, diapers and wipes for four families in need, formula for three vulnerable babies (and two bottle warmers), clothes for two children, two gas cards to help with transportation, a car seat, an interior door, and the recommended reading list from a young mother’s therapist as mom tries to get healthier for her child. All of these met needs were instrumental in letting these sixteen children in crisis stay with their biological parents rather than be placed in foster care.”
Isn’t that incredible! The people of Grace have helped keep 16 children out of foster care within the last few months! What a way to be the hands and feet of Jesus to a truly great need. Thank you, thank you, thank you for helping us to reach the unchurched by being intentional neighbors that reflect Christ! The Grace Community Response team is now meeting 1-3 needs through the CarePortal every single week. As we helped families stay together, Grace has helped lighten the load of our community’s caseworkers that carry a heavy burden.
As Grace continues to onboard CarePortal, it is not ready to bring on new team members until 2022. However, we have immediate volunteer opportunities to serve vulnerable children through our community partner, Bridge A Life. From helping at their Parents Night Out, serving at the annual SuperHero 5K, helping with home repairs, or making and delivering meals, we would love to get you plugged in today! Click here to sign up to do outreach through our community partner!
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