(Forsyth County, GA) The Vine Community Church recently announced plans to build a foster care home on their property. Forsyth County Commissioners approved the plan at their February 16 meeting.
Though the plan was only recently approved, Mark Pugh, the pastor of operations and outreach at The Vine, says the foster home is a long-held dream of church leadership. He describes lead pastor Jon Adams, who helped found the church around 20 years ago, as having a “huge heart” for foster care.
“The very first drawings of the property had the foster home,” said Pugh.
But the commissioners’ approval was a big step in finally making the plan a reality.
“It allows us to get moving with fundraising,” Pugh explained.
The Vine is on a large property along Bethelview Road near the Silver Leaf and Bethelwood Lakes neighborhoods. The foster home is part of the church’s “15 Acres” program – a long-term plan whose motto is “All We Have For His Kingdom.” Other future aspects of the plan include a pavilion, amphitheater, and ball field.
The foster home, which the church will partner with P.E.S.T. Relief International to construct, won't be a traditional group care home. Instead, Pugh describes the home as a way for the church to help provide “wraparound care” to Forsyth County families who choose to foster.
“Many families only foster once,” Pugh shared. Foster care families encounter emotional, logistical, and financial challenges, some that they can’t overcome without help. At The Vine’s foster home, families will live rent-free and utility-free to help provide some of the financial support needed to "foster in place." Specifically, the church hopes to provide a space for fostering boys between the ages of 8-12, though Pugh says the church will try to keep siblings together whenever possible.
“It’s about raising boys to be men,” said Pugh.
Thanks to the recent approval, the project is now in the fundraising stage. The Vine hopes to open its foster care home in 2025.
Foster Care in Forsyth County
Though Forsyth County is a wealthy, fast-growing part of Georgia, foster homes are in short supply. County commissioners made note of that fact at the February 16 meeting where they approved The Vine’s plan.
“Seeing we have seven foster homes in our county of 265,000 now, I would say this is very needed,” Commissioner Cindy Jones Mills said.
In 2020, almost 214,000 children entered foster care in the United States. Around 3 in every 1,000 children in the U.S. enter the foster care system at some point during their childhoods.
The State of Georgia currently has over 11,000 children in foster care. The state strives to place children in its custody in home settings where they are more likely to thrive. Workers try to place children with relatives, but that’s not always an option.
According to the Georgia Department of Human Services, foster parents open their homes to children in need “until their parents are ready for them to return home, they can go to a relative’s home, or find their forever family through adoption.”
The state provides support and training for parents and other individuals who are interested in becoming foster parents. If you are interested in learning more, you can go online or call the information line at 1-877-210-KIDS. Prospective caregivers can then attend an information session in-person in Forsyth County or an online webinar.
Do you have a foster care or adoption story to share? Comment below or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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