Learn About Care Portal
The CarePortal is an online church engagement tool that connects the State (Child Welfare Workers) to the church with information regarding families in crisis within our community. Once Child Welfare Workers uncover the needs of hurting children and families in our community, CarePortal, via email, makes local churches aware of these needs by giving them a timely, non-threatening invitation and opportunity to respond. CarePortal is currently active in 16 states. In Texas alone, 5,609 children have been served through 550 active churches for an economic impact of $ 1,783,187 (as of 10/24/18).
How does it work?
CarePortal first asks three simple questions…
1. Are you willing to accept an email?
2. Are you willing to respond to the needs of the families within your community?
3. Will your church embrace these families and help them foster a relationship with Jesus Christ?
CarePortal asks the church to pray over the needs of these children and, if they can help, to respond.
When a church responds, individuals from that church deliver and administer the need directly to the family, giving them an opportunity to meet these families and hopefully build lasting relationships and leading them to Jesus Christ. The individuals should ask the family if they can pray with them, provide service material, and extend an invitation to join them in worship services, small groups and youth events.
Russell Memorial has recently enrolled in CarePortal to provide Tier 1 service (resources to help stabilize the environment of children and their caregivers), and Sherri Rowe will be our primary contact person. Requests will be for children in our community within a radius of about 15 miles of our church. Some recent Tier 1 requests include children’s winter coats for one family, a bunk bed and bedding for another (for children who are sleeping on pallets on the floor), and clothing for one child in yet another (so he can be returned to his family).
If you or your group would like to participate, let Sherri know by sending her (email@example.com) your or your group’s email address(es). When she receives an email from CarePortal about a local family’s need, she will in turn forward you the email allowing you or your group the opportunity to respond. If you cannot respond to that particular need, you needn’t do anything. If you or your group can help, simply respond to the email by clicking “Respond to Request” and completing the information. If a group is responding, one person will need to be the primary contact for CarePortal. You will then be contacted directly by the Child Welfare Worker with the family’s details.
BASIC GUIDELINES TO PROVIDE TIER 1 SERVICE:
Bring someone with you. If you are going to someone’s home, never go alone. Jesus sent his disciples out 2 by 2 for many reasons. It is wise to be above reproach and protect the people you are helping.
Avoid assumptions. Avoid assuming anything based on what you observe or the little you know. There is always more to the story– we don’t know the circumstances that led a person to the crisis they are in. You’re there to show love and compassion.
Call the caseworker. If you have any questions, concerns or follow up, call the case worker. As the connection point to the family, they can give you tremendous insight.
Be encouraging. Encouraging words have power. Look around and find the strength you see in the people you meet. Tell them. Lift their spirits. Be a light in a dark time for them.
Engage with additional needs. When you meet the first need, you may find other things to help with. Rather than giving cash, you should provide physical items. Engaging in the process of meeting specific needs allows you to participate alongside the family. Items provided may be new or gently used and clean.
View the following videos for further clarification: