A Matter of Life and Death

A testimonial from a social worker from a child welfare agency that has worked with Safe Families for Children:

I wanted to thank Safe Families for Children for all that they have done to help a member that I am working with in Peoria, IL. I truly believe that the mother and 2 kids’ lives have been changed both on earth and beyond since becoming a part of the program. She has a chronic illness that requires frequent emergency visits and hospital stays, not to mention several days per month when she needs to be in bed and resting. She was actually in the hospital and nearly lost her kids when I first starting working with her. She does not have any help or support in Peoria since she had recently moved here. She had a guy she was dating and he was supposed to pick the kids up from the hospital when she was admitted and he didn’t come until about 1 or 2 am after she called him several times. The kids were in her room, sleepy and it was a school night. Then he wasn’t there when the kids came home from school, they did not have a phone at home, and I am unsure how long they were left alone but I do know that the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) was called.

Against medical advice, mom signed herself out of the hospital early so she wouldn’t lose her children. She was at high risk for throwing a blood clot which could be fatal. But she refused to go to the emergency room to be evaluated because she was afraid they would admit her and she didn’t have anyone to watch the kids. At one point, we did had someone that could watch mom’s preteen and child but this individual became ill as well so mom had to leave the hospital early again.

I heard the local chapter director, Ryan Mobley, speak in my church about Safe Families for Children and I listened but knew I couldn’t assist personally. However, one day while driving the Holy Spirit reminded me of the program. I immediately reached out to Ryan to discuss the program. My hope and expectation for the program was that this mom could call a Host Family when she needed to go to the emergency room and the family would take care of her kids. My hope was that if she needed to be admitted they would keep the kids until member was released. Since it could be a call in the middle of the night I wasn’t sure if that would work. But after meeting the Host Family it became clear this family loved mom and her kids! A family they never met before!

Mom has been involved with Safe Families for several months now and it has been LIFE CHANGING! I only expected the Host Family to assist when mom was in the emergency room or hospital but they’ve gone above and beyond that expectation! The Host Family has essentially adopted my member and her family. They have family dinners together. And they even threw a birthday party for the youngest son in their home. The Host Family’s kids and mom’s kids get along so well and even ask to see each other even when they’re not being hosted. Mom has had many health issues but she has been able to get them thoroughly evaluated including surgery.

A huge weight has been lifted from mom’s shoulders because she no longer has to choose potential death to care for her kids. She is so much more relaxed. We talk every month and I always check in on how everything is going with Safe Families and she will cry (of course, making me cry) about how much the program has changed their life. She is so thankful for all the Host Family has done for her. She told me recently that she wants to be sure that she saves money because she wants to be sure to give them Christmas presents. She has so little but out of that she wants to bless them for all they have done for her. The physical/earthly needs are being met and she is receiving more support now than she ever has received in her entire life.

This family lives on $735/month from disability and a couple hundred dollars per month from food stamps. They live in a rough area of town. Mom was so ill that she was not able to give the kids all they needed emotionally to develop into healthy successful adults. They are now having access to an amazing family that is pouring life into this home. Through Safe Families for Children, mom is able to take care of her health which is allowing her to be a better mom and give her kids all that they need to reach their fullest potential one day. The Host Family is also providing such positive support that the kids are thriving! It brings tears to my eyes knowing that God stepped in and I believe all involved made a huge difference for these 3 individuals!

Thank you, Thank you, Thank you Safe Families and especially to the Host Family that has loved this family as their own! They have truly made a tangible difference in the lives of this family.

by Lori K., Case Manager