Home for Good hosts Northern Ireland church leader breakfast

On Monday 5 December 2022, we gathered with 15 church leaders from across Northern Ireland to share the vision of Home for Good over bacon butties and coffee.

On Monday 5 December 2022, we gathered with 15 church leaders from across Northern Ireland to share the vision of Home for Good over bacon butties and coffee.

The group represented a diverse range of congregations, denominations and traditions – and yet as we sat together, spoke together and shared stories, there was a real sense of unity in the room as we drew on our shared faith, shared values and shared belief that the Church has the potential to be a powerful agent for positive change in our communities.

Home for Good’s CEO, Tarn Bright, and Director of Engagement, Roger Cooke, began by painting a picture of the fostering, adoption and supported lodgings landscape in Northern Ireland at the moment. Currently at least 265 more foster carers are needed in Northern Ireland just to meet the needs of children who are in and who are coming into care.

And yet as we face this great need, we continue to hold huge hope that change is possible. Our work in Northern Ireland is growing as we continue our partnership with the Southern Trust and seek to support foster carer recruitment across all five Trust areas.

“We, the Church, have a gift that we can offer the Trusts; a gift that we can offer our children and young people.” Tarn Bright

For some leaders in the room, this Monday morning will have been their first introduction to the work of Home for Good. For others, our vision has been at the core of their ministry for years. It was wonderful to hear from Neil, who leads a church in Richhill, and Christoph who has recently moved to a church in Bangor having lead a church in East Belfast for a number of years. Both told us why the stories of children and young people in care are important to them, and how their church families have responded.

“In reading the Bible, I saw that the prophets relentlessly spoke to God’s people about caring for the poor, the widow, the stranger and the fatherless. So I thought, “Okay, surely that’s what we as the Church should be doing today; caring for and seeking justice for those who face injustice and disadvantage, who are isolated, whose circumstances mean they are more vulnerable.” Christoph
“We now have more people in our church family who are foster carers than who aren’t. That means when a child in our church needs somewhere to go for respite care, they don’t have to go somewhere they don’t know and be introduced to another new carer. They can remain in this community.” Neil

We know of so many stories of churches like Christoph’s and Neil’s who have stepped up to make a difference in the lives of families who foster, have adopted or who care for teenagers through supported lodgings. You can hear a few more of them in this video!

Home for Good believes that the Church has a vital role to play in finding great homes for children who need them. We believe that local churches are ideally placed to be great communities of welcome. We long to see more churches across the UK engaging more deeply with God’s call to care for children who cannot grow up with their birth families.

Here in Northern Ireland, we find ourselves faced with hopeful opportunity as local Trusts ask us, “What more can the Church do?” We would love you to dream with us about what more local church communities can do in this nation to ensure that every child and young person has the home they need.

  • Could you put fostering, adoption and supported lodgings on the agenda at your local church? We’d love to come and speak to your community and share our vision. Find out more here.
  • Could you join us in prayer? Our monthly prayer resource contains a reflection, prayer points and activities to help guide your prayers for children and families and the work of Home for Good.
  • Could you support Home for Good with a gift? An annual, monthly or one-off donation from your church would make enable us to continue and grow our work across Northern Ireland and the UK. Find out more and donate here.
  • Could you partner with us? A Home for Good Church is a church that has made a commitment to journey more closely with us and to serve families who foster, adopt or offer supported lodgings. Click here to learn more about our Home for Good Church programme.

Author:
Home for Good


Date published:
January 2023


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