The Second Story is a team of churches working together to find a family for every child in North Texas. Children lingering in foster care may drift from placement to placement as they wait, often many years, for a forever family. Children without families live a story of isolation, grief and hopelessness.
We want to give them a new story, a second story.
A story filled with hope and restoration. Our vision is a safe and stable home for every child. You can be a part of making this vision a reality. Embrace holds a unique Memorandum of Understanding with Child Protective Services that allows our staff and certified Second Story volunteers the incredible opportunity to advocate for specific children in foster care and help find forever families for each precious child. For more information on how The Second Story initiative works, see the tabs below or click on your county or area’s section to the right. For additional information about becoming a foster or adoptive parent in Texas and to meet some of the children waiting for adoption, visit the Texas Adoption Resource Exchange.
Ready to get involved? Let us know!
Over 1,200 children are
waiting to be adopted
in North Texas
Click your county below to find out how your church can participate!
Ohana Ministries is currently developing a child-specific recruitment initiative in Dallas & Ellis Counties! CLICK HERE for more info!
Join Hope Fort Worth to partner in the Second Story initiative in Tarrant, Johnson, Somervell, Hood, Erath, Parker, and Palo Pinto counties! CLICK HERE for more info!
How can my church get involved?
Churches who participate in Second Story must be members of the Embrace Church Network. Each church is matched with a child or sibling group currently waiting for adoption from foster care. The church develops a small team of volunteers to build a relationship with their child, as well as their caregivers and caseworker. Church teams are background checked and trained by Embrace. These volunteers have the unique opportunity to advocate for their child while wrapping around and supporting their caregivers. Expectations for church teams include:
- visiting their child regularly
- communicating with their child’s caseworker, CASA, and/or foster parents regularly
- praying for the child as a team
- helping meet unmet tangible needs that arise for the child, family, or caseworker
- developing media (videos, portraits and biographies) to help the child tell their story in their own voice
- advocating for the child’s adoption through their church’s network
- attending Second Story meetings and participating in Child to Family Connection events
When a child is adopted, the church maintains communication and support with all parties, including the adoptive family, for 6 months or beyond. When the church it ready, a new child may be assigned to their team.
What are adoption "match" events?
Match events are an effort to connect prospective adoptive parents with children waiting for adoption. At traditional match events, children are present and prospective parents interact directly with the children in a carnival or party setting.
Second Story “Child to Family Connection” events vary from traditional match events in several ways. Instead of appearing in person, each child is represented with a beautiful display table specifically tailored to that child’s interests, hobbies and dreams. Portraits of each child and a video, when available, are also on each table. The child’s caseworker, attorney ad item, and/or CASA are available to share their child’s story and answer any questions prospective parents may have. These conversations aren’t possible or appropriate when children are present. Child to Family Connection offer an engaging program including a panel of adoptive parents and adult adoptees. Churches come together to host the event, provide volunteers and to sponsor children’s display tables.
Licensed foster and adoptive families have the opportunity to learn about each child and submit their home study for the children they are interested in adopting while prospective foster and adoptive families participate in an orientation regarding the licensing process prior to learning more about each child. Child Placing Agencies (CPAs) are also available to work with families and encourage matches between children and families. These inspiring events are helping find forever families for adoptive children, while maintaining the dignity of all parties.
Let us know how your church would like to be involved!
What happens when a child isn't adopted?
Each year over 300 teens “age-out” of foster care in our region without an adoptive family. Children who are involved in the Second Story program benefit from the safety net their church provides. In these instances, needs like temporary housing, ongoing and secondary education, employment, transportation, and mentoring are all vital supports to prevent incarceration, homelessness, trafficking, or unplanned pregnancy which can lead to repeating the cycle of trauma these individuals suffered from as children. Click here to learn more about how your church can care for young adults transitioning out of foster care.
Can I volunteer on my own?
Partnership in the Second Story program requires the approval and involvement of your church staff. If the Second Story isn’t an initiative your church is ready to tackle as a whole, it might be best to consider ways you as an individual, your family, or your small group might become involved. Here are just a few ways you can roll up your sleeves and serve:
- photograph children for Heart Gallery portraits
- help with design and printing needs for the portrait booklet produced for each event
- volunteer at a Child to Family Connection event
- host an Embrace foster care and adoption info meeting at your church
- sponsor a child’s display at a Child to Family Connection event ($100/child)
- meet tangible needs for local foster families through The Loop
What if my church isn't in North Texas?
Embrace can work with your church or ministry to develop a similar initiative in your community. We pilot programs in our little corner of Texas, then happily pass on the blueprints and best practices we develop to others. Let us know how we can help.