By Brian Blackwell, Baptist Message staff writer
BATON ROUGE, La. (LBM) – The Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services recently named Connect1Child its Community Partner of the Year.
During the 24th annual adoption celebration at the Governor’s Mansion in Baton Rouge, Nov. 6, DCFS honored Connect1Child (Louisiana Baptist Children’s Home & Family Ministries’ off-campus foster care and adoption ministry) with this special recognition and announced other award winners in a celebration of the 538 families who adopted 700 children and youth from foster care during the past year.
“To see Governor Edwards and First Lady Edwards join the other organizations and the kids to celebrate the adoptions was quite the experience,” LBCHFM Foster Care and Adoption Specialist Christy Goodwin told the Baptist Message. “We were honored to be the ones chosen for this special award.”
Since its inception in 2014, Connect1Child has helped hundreds of families impact the lives of over a thousand children in the state foster care system. The ministry includes a team of social workers trained in trauma-informed care who work closely with the DCFS and other foster care community partners to understand the needs of foster adoptive families, and how the churches and Christian families can help.
In October, the Eastern Louisiana Baptist Association became the first participant in the LBCHFM’s new model to help associations better engage churches in foster care and adoption ministry. The partnership encourages a coordination of efforts to serve the foster care community as an association and provides a more streamlined approach for meeting urgent needs.
“Part of our ministry is to inform other community partners and churches to get involved with adoption,” LBCHFM Executive Director of Child and Family Services Susan Nolan said, “Christy and our other social workers provide important training and excellent support for our foster and adoptive families.”
For more information about Connect1Child, contact Susan Nolan, (318) 343-2244.