WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — Since 2004, churches across the country have shown their commitment to supporting the most vulnerable populations in their communities through Stand Sunday, a globally recognized day of prayer for children and families involved in foster care.
This year, Child Advocates-CASA of Red River-joined alongside them on November 7, 2021.
“It takes a community to care for children, and that`s what these places of worship are – a community,” said James Bodling, executive director of CASA of Red River. “Our hope is to inform all the diverse faith organizations in our area on ways they can make a difference for the children in foster care in the Archer, Clay, Montague, and Wichita Counties.”
There are 266 children in the child welfare system in all four counties. Children come into foster care when their families are in crisis and are sometimes placed in foster homes far away from everyone and everything they know and love.
Through no fault of their own, they face the risk of negative outcomes like homelessness, substance use, and incarceration.
“Every one of these children, whatever their current circumstances, deserves every possible chance to succeed in life,” said Bodling.
In addition to praying for these children and their families on Stand Sunday, Bodling explained that faith organizations can make a difference by partnering with CASA of Red River and encouraging members to become CASA volunteers.
CASA volunteers are everyday citizens from the community who are screened and trained and appointed by a judge to advocate for these children`s best interests.
Volunteers are designated to serve one child or sibling group and evaluate their well-being by getting to know them and speaking with any and all relevant contacts in their lives, including their parents, foster parents, the family of origin, teachers, therapists, and more. Their first priority is reunifying the child with their parents, whenever safe and possible. When this is not an option, they advocate for the child to live with other family members or a loving adoptive family.
Whatever the case, they provide a consistent presence for the child throughout their time in foster care and ensure they’re connected with a lifetime-network of support that will help them succeed.
While Stand Sunday is sponsored by the Christian Alliance for Orphans (CAFO), CASA of Red River encourages all people and groups to get involved in supporting these children and families.
“Whether you’re religious or not, and whether you practice prayer or not, we hope you will think of children in foster care on Stand Sunday,” Bodling said. “We also hope you’ll consider ways you can support these children and their families, like becoming a CASA volunteer.”
If your church would like to be a part of Stand Sunday, contact CASA of Red River at (940) 766-0552 to receive prayer cards with the name and age of a child.
To learn more about becoming a CASA Volunteer, visit their website.