The statistics are alarming. Nationwide, more than 100,000 children are in the foster care system. In Kentucky alone, nearly 10,000 children remain in out-of-home care, waiting to be reunited with their family or to gain their forever family.
About 47 of every 1,000 Kentucky youth under 17 were in foster care between 2016 and 2018. Kentucky still ranks No. 1 in the nation in rates of child abuse and neglect.
Sunrise cares about the hurting children and broken families represented by these alarming numbers. We are called by scripture (James 1:27) to respond. And we have responded.
Since the beginning of our foster-to-adopt program in 2006, we have celebrated more than 560 adoptions. Since September 2020, Sunrise has created the opportunity for 25 adoptions to be finalized.
What compels us to care for children in need is our love for children and our love for the Lord. We are not ashamed to admit that we are a ministry. Our mission statement makes it very clear: “Sunrise Children’s Services provides care and hope for hurting families and children through Christ-centered ministries.”
This Christian emphasis sets us apart from other childcare agencies. And it is drawing families who are wanting to join us on this journey. “Families are looking to fulfill a mission,” said Sunrise Vice President for Community Based Services Kenny Williams. “They are thirsty for the Lord. They are wanting to know, ‘How do I change the life of a child?'”
Another aspect of Sunrise that sets us apart from others is our longevity. Many are aware that Sunrise has been in existence for more than 150 years. But our current foster care team has been doing this a long time as well.
Our team has 20-plus years experience working in the foster care system. “Our team has been together longer than anyone else,” stated Williams. “This speaks to our commitment and dedication.”
If you are interested in foster care, foster-to-adopt, or even in providing respite care for one of our families, we would love to talk with you. Give us a call at 855.33.iCARE (855-334-2273) or go to www.sunrise.org/foster-care.
When you foster for Sunrise, you are joining a team of profes- sionals who are dedicated to improving the lives of children in crisis. We would love for you to partner with us in caring for the children and families in this state.
David Lyninger is Sunrise Children’s Services associate director of communications.