August 2023 In the Mat-Su
- 441 children are in out-of-home care.
- 75 of those children are legally free for adoption.
- 18 of those children have yet to identify a permanent family.
- 68 Mat-Su children were adopted 2020.
- 65 Mat-Su children were adopted in 2022.
...This is why we STAND.
The Transformation of the Mat-Su Valley:
In 2016 a transformation began to take place in the Mat-Su Valley. A shift, a refocus, a unity. While it was brought in by agencies and educators we felt the unmistakable voice of God in it. It was the beginning of a powerful question ..... "What if?"
What if..........we took the focus off failure and began to look at strengths?
What if..........we began to take a strengthening families approach to replace a culture of blame and shame
What if..........we didn't just refer people to specialist agencies, but came together to ask "How can we help?"
Two powerful words that shifted culture. Culture that came together on shared values despite different beliefs..... strengths over weaknesses, "we" over "me", safe homes, strong families.
It was in this culture that we learned about Strengthening Families.
Did you know that there are five protective factors that substantially decrease the likelihood of child abuse and trauma? These protective factors became our shared language, our shared values, our community focus.
Together we also learned about Positive and Adverse Childhood Experiences and explored how to educate our community on the prevention of child sexual abuse. The greatest investors in carrying this vision for our community were ROCK Mat-Su and the Mat-Su Health Foundation. Their drive towards the health and well-being of individuals and families in our community has been outrageously generous, professionally executed, and well informed. Thank you.
EVERYONE CAN DO SOMETHING
When it comes to child welfare in our community, we have a saying, "We all can't do the same thing, but everyone can do something." Not everyone can adopt or foster, but everyone can do something to support those who do, or support those at risk of losing custody of their children. It just takes one supportive relationship to begin to create a circle of support. We hope these videos will inspire you to reach out and "do something" to help build more strong, thriving families in our community.
BABY JANE'S Story
Everyone can do something. See how this Life Group stepped in when "Baby Jane" needed a safe, loving home.
IN THE SHELTER OF HIS WINGS
We wanted to communicate God’s generational blessing for the varied cultures and families in our community. You will hear The Blessing expressed in the varied languages of our community.
Jonathan Walker and Codie Farrington share their personal stories as an adoptive parent and an adult aging out of the foster care system.
Discover how an open door helped Connie find healing and family after losing her husband and children.
SHELLIE AND LOUIS' STORY
Hear how Shellie and Louis went from an endless cycle of addiction to thriving as a family.
When Shellie and Louis lost costudy of their children, Joleen stepped in. Hear how her "ye" had a generational impact on her family.
Hear how God called Brandy, as a young single woman, to shift her expectations and answer His call to adoption.
FOSTER CARE AND ADOPTION PT1
Join the Jonathans as they discuss the role of the church in foster care and adoption.
FOSTER CARE AND ADOPTION PT2
The Jonathans continue to explore the process of fostering to adopt and how to get involved.