Serving a Child’s Best Interest
“And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me. But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea” (Matthew 18:5-6).
What is the “best interest” of a child? Criteria change from state to state (and often courtroom to courtroom). Generally speaking, courts are reluctant to remove a child from the home. They WANT to see caregivers provide the child a safe home with adequate food, clothing, and medical care.
But when circumstances are dire, they will act to rescue a child. When there is evidence of direct abuse (especially physical or sexual), indirect abuse (exposure to domestic abuse), or neglect, a child may be removed from danger and placed in foster care until their home situation markedly improves.
State laws tend to value keeping families together. They often favor children staying in close contact with siblings, parents, and other family members, as appropriate, even if they are removed from their primary residence.
Hannah Grace Homes prayerfully seeks the best interest of the young women God has entrusted to us for a time. In some cases, we’re even able to care for their siblings. In all circumstances, we pray for the rest of their families and for the redemptive power of Christ to change lives.
Transitions Are Stressful
As important as it is to get a child to safety, the transition into foster care may be jarring. The adjustment also challenges foster parents. In addition to the cluster of negative effects of being exposed to domestic abuse or neglect, children may exhibit aggression, withdrawal, depression, regressive behaviors, fantastic thinking, academic challenges (related to poor concentration, new curricula, etc.), anxiety, uncertainty or disregard for boundaries, and inappropriate social interaction.
“Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful” (Luke 6:36).
Especially in the early stages, foster parents can do a lot to meet the needs of grieving children by demonstrating:
- Love in the face of fear
- Joy in the face of withdrawal
- Peace in the face of volatility
- Patience in the face of acting out
- Kindness in the face of anger
- Goodness in the face of sinful patterns
- Faithfulness in the face of boundary testing
- Gentleness in the face of aggression
- Self-control in the face of outbursts
Grace is at the heart of caring for these children, combined with wise, firm boundaries that help prevent a young woman from harming herself or others.
Hannah Grace Homes house parents understand that healing is a process, not an event. Please pray for an ongoing outpouring of God’s sustaining grace on these ministry leaders and the young women they care for. Your partnership with Hannah Grace Homes provides these girls a living picture of the Gospel at work in their lives.
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