What Role Can Faith Communities Play?
Being part of a larger community reminds parents - and kids - that they're not alone.
Because we know members of our faith group are there to help, they're often the first people we lean on.
Faith communities offer built-in chances to connect on a weekly basis as well as opportunities to use your common bonds to start a deeper relationship
What Can You Do?
Help to reduce silence and isolation.
In Lane County, 47% of survivors of child abuse and neglect said no one helped them at the time they were first being mistreated – 19% said they were rarely helped. Be that person people reach out to for support.
Kids naturally look up to the adults in their faith community as role models.
Set an example every week with a positive, warm presence and welcome children to the conversation even when they may be a little noisy or energetic.
Encourage your place of worship to offer the Stewards of Children curriculum to leaders, volunteers, and youth group leaders.
Make sure all everyone who interacts with kids undergoes training on steps to take to prevent, recognize, and react responsibly to child abuse.
Reach out to families at your church, synagogue, or mosque who seem isolated.
Looking for a direct, concrete answer to the question, What can I do?
Safe Families for Children of Lane County offers respite support for families and children in our community. Work with your faith community to become a partner organization.
Places of worship are great avenues for concrete support.
Your faith leader can often tell you how to best help others in your congregation, or may know of someone in need of specific assistance.
Explore the information, trainings, and webinars offered by the Faith Trust Institute.
The Faith Trust Institute is a national, multifaith, multicultural training and education organization working to end sexual and domestic violence.
Join the 90by30 Regional Leadership Team in your community.
Faith community members are a valuable part of the work we do.
Recognize Blue Sunday Day of Prayer during April’s child abuse prevention month.
Encourage your minister, priest, rabbi or other religious leader to speak to your faith community on your day of worship.
Offer your space.
If your faith community already offers youth programming, is there another night without something scheduled on the calendar? Consider offering a parent support group or a drop-in activity for kids. It's a great way to give busy parents a break - or to encourage families to do something fun together.
Your youth leaders can teach about healthy relationships and healthy sexuality.
Curriculum like Our Whole Lives which “helps participants make informed and responsible decisions about their relationships, health and behavior in the context of their faith.”
Use your network.
Utilize your established communication channels to help families network and find support groups or resources. A newsletter, bulletin board, or social media platform can help spread the word.
Share an invitation to the Welcome Baby Box, or work with your faith group to host a donation drive.
If you live in South, West, or East Lane County, any expecting parent can sign up to receive a Welcome Baby Box. Or make contributing to the box an activity for your entire group: knit hats, donate products, or support the project financially.
Every Child Lane connects faith communities, businesses, and individuals with children in need. Foster a child, or provide tangible support to a child in foster care.
Take advantage of resources, or share them with others.
Christians as Family Advocates (CAFA) offers counseling, parenting classes, and other services for families.