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Putting the Lonely in Families: The Journey of SFAC

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Most birth and foster parents have the same goal—improving the health and happiness of children and youth. That is the message shared by the Cassidys, seasoned foster parents whose experience is featured as part of the National Foster Care Month real-life stories narratives.

Putting the Lonely in Families: The Journey of SFAC

Through true partnerships, and by listening to the birth families of the children they cared for, the Cassidys were reminded that there is another side to every placement. This is just one of the many powerful stories highlighted during National Foster Care Month The stories illustrate how supportive networks can strengthen families and improve outcomes for children and families involved with foster care. Collaborative relationships—relationships between foster parents and birth parents or relationships between child welfare professionals, families, and community partners—help drive healthy and thriving children and families.

The child welfare field has tremendous opportunities to rethink how the foster care experience itself, when necessary, can support, rather than harm, the parent-child relationship and strengthen this essential component of well-being. Many children in the foster care system have at least one family member working hard so that their child can return home safely.

FOC: (84) Substitute Family Care | Department of Health | State of Louisiana

These stories offer a first-person perspective from children, youth, families, and professionals involved with the child welfare system. The Spread the Word section of the National Foster Care Month website provides images, outreach, and social media messages that point to resources that promote family stability and preservation as well as to resources to help prevent reentry into foster care.

During May, and all year long, we salute all the caregivers, case managers, community-based service providers, and volunteers who nurture and support children and families working toward reunification or permanency. Visit the National Foster Care Month website today to learn more about how you can help keep families healthy, strong, and together. Skip to main content.

VII. Substitute Care

Social sharing. Meet Mick Pease.

Job Description

Mick is the Director of SFAC Substitute Families for Abandoned Children , a UK-based Christian organization that advocates for improved services for orphaned and abandoned children, with an emphasis on alternative options to residential care. SFAC provides training for nonprofit and faith-based organizations, social workers, volunteers, and substitute families around the world.

Thanks to the opportunity to work in and observe residential care facilities for three years prior to attending university, Mick began to realize some of the inherent limitations of institutionalized care for children. Rather than allowing guilt and helplessness to form his response to orphaned children, Mick decided to become a licensed social worker.

His studies in the UK included coursework in child protection, the principles of which Mick relied upon while carrying a heavy caseload of children as a social worker in the city of Leeds. Despite his years of experience with foster and adoptive families in the UK, at that time he still had little knowledge of international child protection issues.

Clifford - "Substitute" Live at Holy Family

Mick and Brenda suddenly found themselves in an orphanage of over a hundred children, many of whom had been removed from their parents by authorities. If placement in a safe, secure biological family was not available, then local foster care was encouraged. Mick admits that the journey of SFAC has not always been easy, as they deliberately advocate for family-based care.