By law and policy, child welfare agencies are mandated by the government to intervene in situations where children have suffered blatant abuse or neglect, leaving thousands of children and their families in difficult situations that do not meet this threshold.
With the changing economy, many more families are experiencing financial crisis, unemployment, and homelessness. Others are dealing with substance abuse, illness or incarceration. During such crises, many parents are not capable of providing a safe and caring environment for their children.
Historically the extended family or neighbours often stepped in to support parents by taking care of children for short periods of time. However, many urban families are socially isolated and their extended family is non-existent or not available, especially for those who are newcomers to Canada. The children in a family traumatized by crisis become especially at risk for neglect or abuse as their parents struggle to cope with crushing circumstances and emotions.
These parents are able to voluntarily place their child(ren) with Safe Families and retain custody during the placement. They can come from any background and be referred by a school, hospital, church, pregnancy centre, homeless shelter, child welfare agency, neighbour or may contact Safe Families themselves when in a time of crisis.
Safe Families volunteers serve without compensation and are motivated by the compassion and grace that they first received from Jesus Christ.