Things that make a difference

It is not an exaggeration to say that great wraparound care for families can be life changing

Maybe you don’t currently have the privilege of raising teenagers and you want to know how you can stand with those in your world who do.? Perhaps you have teenagers in your home, but also have the capacity and heart to journey alongside those raising care-experienced teenagers.? Maybe you’re asking how you can do that well and what great care for these families could look like. It is not an exaggeration to say that great wraparound care for families can be life changing!

An oft- quoted adage related to parenting is an African proverb that says, ‘it takes a village to raise a child’. Great community is vital for a child’s healthy development and the Church, (that’s the people, not the structures they meet in) have the potential to be one of the best positioned communities to do this.

I am so grateful for the adults from church, in my life during my adolescence who loved and accepted me, listened to my complaints about parental boundaries and heard my heart’s cries as I wrestled with who I am. Ensuring our children have equivalent people around them, especially during their teenage years is a priority.

Here are 3 things that you could do that may make a world of difference to families in your world.

1. Build relationships with children

    If you’re going to do this, make sure you have capacity to do it consistently over a long period of time. Find out what they’re into and enjoy being an adult who takes them out to do fun things or takes an interest in their world if you go to their house. Relational connection that demonstrates loving acceptance is a vital foundation that means they may choose to share important things with you.

    2. Empathetic, consistent journeying with parents

      This might be joining their family for a mealtime or on a regular trip out as a family or a commitment to a monthly night out (or being the babysitter so they can)? It could mean being on standby with a cup of tea or glass of wine while they share their heart with you, acknowledging their grief and pain, without trying to fix it. A willingness to be in it with someone for the long haul, no matter what, can be life changing for adults who can feel isolated and that there is no one who ‘gets it’.

      3. Ask the parent / carer

        If you have a heart to stand with a family caring for vulnerable children, but you’re not sure how to best serve them, ask then! Perhaps approach that conversation with some ideas as a starting point rather than a completely blank canvas but asking how you can best serve and care for them and their family demonstrates your value of them and acknowledges their insight and expertise.

        Raising children is not for the faint-hearted. The bible tells us that children are a gift from God (Psalm 127) and there is no upper age limit set when that stops being truth. Our teenagers are gifts from God. In acknowledging the very real, painful challenges that come during this time, we must also hold on to truth, and to the promise of God that He will NEVER leave us or forsake us, whatever our current lived experience is.

        Will you stand with us by donating to the work of Home for Good so that together we can find a home for every child, and teenager, who needs one? Click here to donate.

        Author:
        Claire for Home for Good


        Date published:
        June 2021


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