Connect1Child, formerly known as Connect 1:27, is the Louisiana Baptist Children’s Home’s statewide foster care and adoption ministry. The Connect1Child team works to connect children with the hope of the Gospel, the love of a family, and support from a church through the foster care journey and beyond.
In addition to recruiting and supporting foster families, the Connect1Child team works with churches across the state to develop and support foster care and adoption ministries. Additionally, the Connect1Child team works closely with the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) and other community partners to help communicate urgent and ongoing foster care needs and encourage efforts where help is needed.
In May 2021, Connect1Child partnered with Louisiana Methodist Children’s Home, Louisiana Fosters, and DCFS to host the first annual Foster the Connection virtual conference to unite Louisiana’s faith-based community to identify statewide foster care needs and encourage church involvement in foster care and adoption ministry. Over 120 individuals from across Louisiana participated in the online event, resulting in new relationships and partnerships to better serve Louisiana’s children and families involved in the child welfare system.
On May 5, 2022, Connect1Child, Louisiana Methodist Children’s Home, Louisiana Fosters, and DCFS are partnering once again to present the second annual Foster the Connection virtual conference. This year’s conference will focus on two critical needs in foster care in Louisiana: birth family support and support for teenagers in foster care. The conference’s goal is to create a better understanding of the issues birth parents and teenagers in foster care face and help provide practical strategies for faith-based community involvement and support.
The conference will include presentations from birth parents and former foster youth who will share their first-hand experiences with the child welfare system and offer insight into helpful support and areas where additional support is needed. The conference will feature foster parents who will share their experiences parenting teenagers, discuss resources currently available for foster parents and teens, and offer suggestions for further support. Community partners will share their experiences working with youth in Extended Foster Care, challenges faced by youth, and how the faith-based community can support young adults’ transition from foster care to independent living. The conference is open to anyone who desires to get involved in foster care ministry and make a difference in the lives of children and families across the state.