Parents experiencing a temporary crisis (such as hospitalization, drug abuse, or housing issues) can call Safe Families to request temporary housing for their children (newborn through 18 years old), while they address the issues that led to the instability in their lives. Volunteers who have signed up as host families are matched with these children, and open their homes to them for an average of one day to three months. Other support volunteers come alongside the host family to help meet practical needs such as providing baby supplies, homework help, babysitting, or anything else that comes up.
Designed to extend and strengthen the community safety net for at-risk families, Safe Families is a positive alternative to the state child welfare system, allowing parents to work out their problems without having to worry about losing custody of their children. The program’s goal is to reunite children with their biological parent(s) in a home that is more stable and healthy, in part because of the contribution of the Safe Families intervention.