Brookwood Child Advocacy Team (BCAT)

brookwood fostering ministry

As disciples of Christ, we have been given a mandate to serve and support the most vulnerable in our community. When James stated that “true religion” is to care for widows and orphans, he wasn’t giving us an exhaustive list, but an indicative one. The people of God are to care for those who cannot care for themselves and be a voice for the one who has no voice. Here at Brookwood, we have several families who have answered this call by serving as foster families for children displaced from their homes due to maltreatment. This work is very challenging and cannot be successfully sustained without consistent support from the church as a whole. The level of sacrifice and disruption experienced by these families goes largely unnoticed, but is essential to the safety and restoration of a wounded child. While not everyone is called to foster, everyone is called to help those who do.   


Mission: to facilitate the protection, empowerment, and restoration of children and families through steadfast prayer and strategic activity.


Vision: A thriving and well-supported foster care community in our church and the surrounding area. 

there are many ways you can support our foster families

Foster Family Support Team Member: Assists a specific foster family through monthly meal delivery, home projects, childcare/respite care, transportation, child mentorship, etc. Each member of the team chooses only one of the optional  avenues of service. This is an ongoing volunteer role.

 

Spontaneous Special Projects: Occasionally, a foster family from our church or community encounters a special need such as furniture delivery, simple household repairs, or minor construction projects. This is a spontaneous (as-needed) volunteer role.

 

Occasional Meal Prep: The Family Support Team sometimes needs an extra set of hands to prepare or pick up and deliver a meal to our foster families.  These meals are sometimes prepared, but can also be ordered for delivery directly to the foster home. This is a once per quarter volunteer role.

 

Respite Care/Childcare: Foster parents need an occasional break from the stresses associated with providing a home for children from difficult places. This may be a simple two-hour slot for a mom to go grocery shopping or it could be an overnight stay while a couple gets away for the weekend. This can be a regular (consistent) volunteer role or a sporadic offer of assistance.

 

Therapy/Tutoring: There are times when a foster child is in need of physical, occupational, or speech therapy, but the arrangements with the State have not yet materialized. This same scenario often exists when academic tutoring is needed. This is a regular and/or occasional volunteer role based on the needs expressed by the foster parents.

 

Prayer/Encouragement: The work of a foster family is very difficult and the role of prayer can mean the difference between sustaining or suspending a placement. Acts of encouragement (such as notes) are also essential to the well-being of the family. This is an ongoing volunteer role.

 


To fulfill one of these support roles, click here.

additional support opportunities

special projects

Occasionally our help is requested by DCFS, local non-profits that serve the foster care community, or by foster families directly. With the support of our “Special Projects” team and our deacon body, we have been able to meet those needs, extending the love of Christ in the process. Recently, some of our deacons delivered a bed to a birth mother awaiting the return of her child. When foster children are sent back home, often their return can be delayed due to a lack of appropriate accommodations. Their labor of love was much appreciated.  We also sent a team to move furniture into a donated apartment that will be home to a young lady who is aging out of the foster care system. This effort was in partnership with the local non-profit Faith and Fostering.

our foster families

the barrington bunch

The Barringtons are relatively new to the foster scene, but they have hit the ground running. In the two years since they were certified , thirteen foster children have slept under their roof. The Barringtons feel compelled to adopt through the foster care system, a calling that carries with it great emotional risk to each member of the family. Often children come into care as an adoptive placement and foster families open their homes and hearts to the possibility of permanency. But in the world of fostering, things can change in an instant, giving little or no warning that an unexpected “goodbye” is imminent. The Barringtons have experienced this pain and have continued to take the risk, knowing that this work is a graphic illustration of the gospel. We are thankful for the Barrington bunch.  

the lewing league

The Lewings are our newest foster family candidates. They only have a couple of details to wrap up before theirs will become a certified foster home. They plan to begin this journey by offering respite care for newborns, a support role that is essential to preserving placements and preventing the additional trauma experienced by children who endure multiple placement changes. This is especially true for newborns and infants who are establishing lifelong patterns of attachment, trust and security based on the consistency of care provided from birth to two years old. We are grateful that the Lewings are planning to fulfill this unique role in the foster care community.  

The paulk family

Ryan and Shelly Paulk have two birth children—Paisley (11) and Easton (8). They have felt God’s call to adoption for several years now and have begun that journey by opening their home to foster children. The Paulk's became certified foster parents in November of 2021. Early on, they discovered the pain of disappointment so often associated with fostering children from hard places. Though they loved and lost, they continue to seek God’s direction as to how they are to move forward in this journey. Shelly and Ryan are so passionate about foster care that even while they do not have placements in their home, they are actively involved in serving the other Brookwood foster families. We are grateful for all God is doing in and through their lives. 

the shurling family

Travis and Melissa Shurling became certified foster parents in August of 2021. Desiring to serve in humility, they told very few people of their involvement in foster care.  In addition to the little ones they have temporarily welcomed into their home, Travis and Melissa have a birth son, Max, who is ten years old. They are committed to providing a loving environment for children who need a safe haven while their birth families do the things necessary for their children to return home. The Shurlings are available for short-term placements and they also provide respite care for other foster families who need a break or are traveling. They are truly a blessing to the foster care community. 

The Brock family

Carrie and Dusty Brock have a Christ-like heart for children from hard places. During the seven years they have been fostering, the Brocks have provided a safe haven of love and stability for ten children. Among those ten placements was one little girl, Larissa, who found her forever home with Carrie and Dusty. After Larissa’s adoption, the Brocks have continued to open their home to additional foster placements. Their lives are a picture of the Kingdom of Heaven where God has adopted many children into his family…and yet there is room (Luke 14:22). 

If you have questions or need additional information,

contact Melinda Wallace HERE.