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A New Year for Safe Families for Children

by Tricia Sakles, Program Development Director

We were very excited when our former Safe Families Coordinator said she knew of someone who might be interested in the position. After our first conversation with Tammy Folkerts, we knew that she had the skills, experience, and passion needed to fill the role. We were happy to officially bring Tammy on board in January of this year and she has already made her mark as the new Safe Families Coordinator.

Tammy grew up in the Baltimore area and now lives in Westminster with her husband, 19 year old daughter, 17 year old son, and 6 year old son. Tammy has been involved with vulnerable children through children's ministries for 15 plus years, including work in Sunday Schools, Vacation Bible Schools, and as a Volunteer Coordinator. She has also been an integral part of LEGACY, the Orphan Ministry at her church, LifePoint, in Westminster. Through LEGACY, Tammy has helped educate others about adoption and foster care by providng resources and workshops, as well as helped orphans around the world, including the Ukraine and Guatemala. Her passion for this type of work was heightened through the adoption of her 6 year old son from Guatemala.

When asked why she took on the role of the Safe Families Coordinator, Tammy replied, "I felt God was calling me to further care for vulnerable children and families in our area." She believes her skills and passions are in line with what Safe Families for Children and BFCS are all about. Tammy's grasp of community resources and strong belief in the role that volunteers can play have already had a direct impact. We know at Baptist Family that through Tammy's hard work and dedication, the Safe Families Program will grow and be able to reach many more families in need.

When asked what her main goal is with her new role, Tammy said, "Building partnerships to allow unlimited opportunties to serve God under Safe Families for Children."

For more informatoin about this vital ministry, please call Tammy Folkerts at 800-621-8834, extension 117.

PRAYER REQUESTS

...for devastating events that have occurred within a few of our CHOSEN families: for the mother of a foster mom had a stroke late last month; for a foster mom whose brother was struck by a car and passed away earlier this month - the 4th family member she has lost in a year - as well as the unexpected removal of her foster youth at the child's request; for a foster dad whose brother passed away suddenly; and another foster dad who lost his half-brother a couple days after being rushed to the ER.

...for an elderly GSN client who will undergo a kidney procedure, we ask a quick recovery and for her fears about the hospital to be dispelled.

...for an 11-year-old foster child whose biological mother has been inconsistent in her contact with him, leading him to exhibit tantrum behaviors, and for his foster mom as she offers support and care to help him deal with it.

...for a teenage CHOSEN girl who continues to leave home without permission for extended periods. This is compromising her safety and may require that she be placed in a higher level of care.

...for another teenage CHOSEN girl who has left home without permission and has not returned.

...for a former GSN and volunteer family who completed their housing program without success and had to leave with few alternatives. Please remember their 2 high school age children who may be sent to shelters.

...for the husband of a former staff member who has stage II pancreatic cancer and will begin chemotherapy on February 25.

...for the quick recovery of a 3-month-old infant boy who had surgery.

...for a foster mom who is considering whether to take in a difficult placement that was referred to us.

Answered Prayers!

Note: Names have been changed, where necessary, to protect the identities of our kids and families.

We are so thankful for the prayer warriors who have partnered with us! We see His answers every day.

Regarding our prayer for new families to step forward, we had 6 families graduate from CHOSEN pre-service training last month, and 2 families expressed interest in becoming Safe host families after hearing our presentation at Calvary Baptist Church in Bel Air.

We are grateful for a woman who responded to our last Prayer Gram and donated 2 boxes of diapers.

Many thanks to the two who responded to the need of a Safe Families host family who was struggling to pay for car repairs. One of the donors was also a Safe Families host family.

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