CarePortal in the Capital Region
This week we got to present CarePortal to Albany County leaders and legislators at a lunch meeting hosted by the Capital City Rescue Mission in Albany. CarePortal’s National Director, Scott Platter, and Justice For Orphans’ Exec. Dir., Sandra Flach, presented about the impact of CarePortal in Schenectady County - the first county in NY to implement CarePortal, the technology platform that connects child welfare agencies with churches to meet the needs of local children and families in crisis.
Justice For Orphans is planning to launch CarePortal in their second Capital Region county and is looking closely at Albany County. Flach states that, “The need is great in Albany County. In 2017 there were 3,428 calls to Child Protective Services which led to 194 children being removed from their homes and placed in foster care.” In addition to the need Flach reported that 8 Albany County churches have already enrolled in CarePortal with the intention to serve vulnerable children and families within the county.
In November 2018, JFO launched CarePortal in Schenectady County a smaller neighboring county which had 2,243 calls to CPS in 2017 and 115 children removed from their homes and placed into foster care. In just 4 months local churches have served 132 Schenectady children through CarePortal. Congregations are meeting needs by providing beds, bedding, furniture, car seats, and other items which contributes to stabilizing a family and essentially preventing children from entering foster care.
In addition to meeting physical needs, churches are also making connections with local families letting them know that the Church is a resource and families do not have to feel isolated. On a recent Sunday in Schenectady a local mom and her children who had been served through CarePortal expressed a desire to attend church. Liberty Church USA in Schenectady was happy to arrange transportation and picked the family up for church. CarePortal is all about making real, meaningful connections.
Justice For Orphans is looking forward to working with Albany County in our efforts to activate CarePortal in the Capital County. Albany County churches desire to meet needs and make connections with local children and families in crisis. CarePortal is a unifying factor bringing government and churches together on behalf of children in need.