Embrace & The Church
How it started: Embrace was founded in 2007 by a passionate group of volunteers at a little Baptist church in Texas. The ministry was created to help members of this small congregation serve abused, neglected, and orphaned children. Unsure of how to reach a population of children dispersed in foster homes throughout the community, the ministry team began to forge relationships with CPS (Child Protective Services) and child placing agencies to identify the most pressing needs of children and families. Based on this feedback, Embrace started out offering support groups, respite opportunities, and meeting tangible needs. The families who became involved in these services helped shape our resources even further. The ministry began serving kinship care providers and teens “agin-out” of foster care. As Embrace’s programs and services grew and gained more traction, other churches in the community reached out to get involved. The scope of the ministry would soon broaden from association with a church, to association with The Church.
How it’s going: Before Embrace, there was a disconnect between The Church and the need. When churches, small group leaders, and individuals would reach out to CPS offering up help and hoping to serve, there was no central point of contact, or entity to coordinate services and ensure consistency. The state’s overburdened and under-resourced child welfare system simply lacked the bandwidth to sustain relationships and delegate meaningful programs to individual churches scattered across the region. For over a decade, Embrace has worked to build a platform for The Church to connect directly with the needs of abused and neglected children, foster/adoptive families, at-risk families, and teens who “age-out” of foster care. And it’s making a difference. Children are being adopted. Broken families restored. Foster teens supported into adulthood. Community built.
Where we’re headed: Church, there is still much work to be done. Every day, children enter foster care in our community only to be left sleeping in CPS offices and shelters, separated from their siblings, or sent far from home. We need more families willing to open their homes and hearts to children, and The Church to wrap around and support those who do. We need more mentors to embrace teens drifting through foster care unanchored and alone. We need huggers. And hair braiders. And bakers. And coaches. And tutors. And prayers. Everyone can do something. Will you join us?