The Safe Families program made its Southern Calif. debut this year through the foster and adoption agency Olive Crest. Several families in Orange and Los Angeles Counties became involved in the program in 2009 and another 30 churches throughout the two counties will launch Safe Families in 2010.
Olive Crest is hoping to expand the program into the Inland region as well in 2010.
Safe Families is a church-based program in which trained volunteer families open their homes to at-risk children (newborn through 18 years old) on a temporary basis for parents experiencing a short-term emergency such as hospitalization or a long-term crisis such as drug abuse.
The program is designed to keep struggling parents from losing their children to the child welfare system, and to help the children remain safe, loved and cared for during a difficult time.
Frank and Nancie Carpenter were the first Southern Calif. family to receive a placement. The couple has two grown children and are soon to be first-time grandparents. They took in a 2-year-old named Joe whose 26-year-old mother was incarcerated for theft.