Since 2003, Safe Families for Children has arranged more than 35,000 hostings in Host Family homes across the United States. The number of hostings are even higher when combined with existing efforts in the United Kingdom and Canada.
On average, a child stays with a Host Family for slightly less than 45 days. Parents are referred for a variety of reasons but mostly because of an unstable living environment or crisis. The majority of children hosted are younger than 5 years of age, and 93% return to their parent or a relative who is in a better position to care for them.
All in all, we’ve had over 25,000 volunteers directly involved with hosting children, loving on families, meeting needs, and just being present. But no man is an island. This figure doesn’t account for the informal volunteers that care for volunteers and families in crisis in a variety of ways. The total volunteer figure could be 2-3x larger when the informal network is considered.
Churches are the backbone of our model. Over our 15 year history we’ve engaged with nearly 4,600 churches across the US. These centers of faith serve as a pillar to our volunteers and exemplify love in action.
In Illinois, Safe Families for Children, in conjunction with the Illinois Department of Children & Family Services (DCFS), is currently being evaluated by a randomized control evaluation at the University of North Carolina.
Safe Families for Children in the United Kingdom is also being evaluated by the Social Research Unit at Dartington. Results will be made available once the research is completed.