Foster Care Initiative
We developed the Foster Care Initiative at ONEless to further prevent children from falling prey to human trafficking and as a means to love and care for vulnerable children right here in our own backyard. A recent study showed that roughly 80% of children that are rescued from human trafficking have some tie to foster care.
There are 8,400 children in foster care in the state of TN, and over 10,500 churches. We believe it is the church’s role to care for and look after these children. We want to engage and equip local churches to love and care for foster children. We also want to be able to support foster families. We have taken part in the Department of Children's Services Christmas party in Shelby County (Memphis), as well as hosted an Easter egg hunt for foster children in Rutherford County (Nashville). We have also been given the privilege to take part in teaching PATH in Shelby County (Memphis). PATH (Parents As Tender Healers) is the state required training course to become a foster parent. We believe that if we can help train foster parents, they can be better equipped to handle these children, resulting in safer, long term homes for these children.
The statistics are alarming of the children that age out of the foster care system in relation to their success. Here are a few:
- They are 3X more likely to never receive a high school diploma or a GED.
- They are 7X more likely to be convicted of a crime.
- They are 3X more likely to be institutionalized for a mental illness.
- They are 2.5X more likely to become a teen parent.
- They are 7X more likely to be on food stamps.
If you are interested in becoming a foster parent in the state of TN, call 1-877-DCS-KIDS (1-877-327-5437). You can also go to the TN Department of Children's Services website:
What will your role be in the fight to help us make ONE less?
*Statistics provided by research from 1.17 Ministries
Easter Egg Hunt for the
Rutherford County Foster Care Association
ONEless hosted an Easter Egg Hunt for the Rutherford County Foster Care Association at Hilltop Rosenwald Park in Smyrna. It was free event for foster families. We hunted eggs, played on inflatables, snacked, and families fellowshipped with other foster families. ONEless also shared the Easter Story using giant Resurrection Eggs. We would like to make this an annual event and also have other ONEless groups do this in other counties.
Children in foster care are very vulnerable to trafficking. This is just one way ONEless seeks to educate and spread awareness in our community and in our state. We are constantly exploring new ideas and resources to reach more people that are so unaware of the second highest crime in our nation.