At Risk

Adoption

We want to encourage and support adoptive families and families as they journey through the adoption process.

Adoption Resources

The process of choosing an adoption agency and understanding the overall adoption process can be overwhelming. This resource list — while not exhaustive — provides various adoption agencies used or recommended by Grace families as well as adoption grants and loans, resource websites, blogs, and books.

Adoption Scholarships

Adoption scholarships are used to support families within Grace Church that are adopting domestically or internationally. These scholarships directly support our strategic initiative to care for children-at-risk. Find out more about our applicant criteria and process.

Adoption Support

Our adoption support consists of a variety of ways to connect with other adoptive families. We have Connected Child book studies, periodic equipping sessions, and opportunities for dads as well. Our goal is to encourage parents through community to help them face the unique challenges of parenting adopted children and support them with prayer, care, and resources on their journey.

For more information, contact Kirsten Bengtson at .

Barnabas Disability

Barnabas Disability exists to glorify God by sharing the love of Jesus Christ and the truths of His Word with children and adults with special needs while supporting and encouraging their families through participation in the church body.

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Foster Care

Providing critical, temporary care and housing for children in crisis is an ongoing need throughout our state. In addition to regular foster care, there are also opportunities to provide short-term and specialized foster care.

One way to begin your foster care journey is through Bethany Christian Services. Bethany provides licensing, training, and support for foster families. Further information can also be found at Carver County, Scott County, and Hennepin County.

As a church, we want to provide support and encourage to our foster care families. If you are currently providing foster care or beginning the process, email Kirsten Bengtson at  .

Adopting From Foster Care

While the primary goal of foster care is to reunite children with their birth families, this is not always the case. As of September 2016, there were almost 500 Minnesota "waiting children" in need of adoptive families. For a listing of Minnesota children currently waiting for adoption and for information about the adoption process, you can visit MNAdopt.org. Bethany Christian Services also assists with adoption from foster care, including training for adoptive parents.

Hosting Kids

Providing support to vulnerable families before their child(ren) end up in the foster care system is a huge need and an incredible opportunity to share the love of Jesus and the hope of the Gospel. One of the ways to provide help is by temporarily hosting children. This gives the parent(s) needed respite so that they can regain stability.

As a church, we are committed to supporting our host families. We provide practical resources including diapers and clothing. If you are hosting, we’d love to stay connected. Contact Kirsten at  .

How do I become a host family?

We partner with Together for Good, a faith-based non-profit that uses a holistic, Gospel-centered approach to coming alongside isolated families. To begin the process of becoming a host family, visit tfgood.org and click on the link to “JOIN.” Then Together For Good staff will follow-up with next steps.

How long does hosting typically last?

The average length of stay is about six weeks, but placements can last from three days to three months. Some factors affecting the length of stay include the severity of the family’s crisis and the willingness of the biological parent to address the issues involved in the crisis. You can also sign-up to provide respite hosting, which means you will support a family who is providing longer-term care by hosting for short stays.

What type of child can I expect?

These are normal children coming from sometimes very difficult circumstances. Each child will respond to the situation differently, depending on their personality and coping skills. Some may show little response to their life circumstances while others may be deeply affected. Please note that the children are not believed to be victims of abuse or neglect. If they were, they would have been placed in foster care and not eligible for hosting.

Who can host kids?

Singles, married couples with children of any age, or couples without children are welcome to host kids.

I cannot host kids at this time. Is there anything else I can do?

YES, there are many ways to engage! You can support a host family with practical needs: help drive, provide a meal, or run errands. Or you can invest relationally in a biological mother. In most cases, hosted kids are being raised by a single mother, and to move forward and work through their crisis, they need to a healthy support system. You could invite her to church or Bible study, help her learn new life skills, apply for a job, etc. There are so many ways you can serve!

Teen Moms

Coming alongside single, young women facing an unintended pregnancy and those who are parenting is a priority for us. Here is an overview of what we're doing and ways you can engage.

Embrace Grace: A Group for Single, Young Pregnant Women

Embrace Grace provides emotional, practical, and spiritual support for single, young pregnant women who find themselves in an unintended pregnancy. It is a 12-week program (Feb-May) that teaches young women about God’s love and grace, and at the end, we throw a baby shower to honor them for choosing life and to help provide for their babies’ needs.

If you're interested in serving or if you'd like to join the group or refer another teen who is expecting, contact Kirsten at .

We use the program and curriculum provided through Embrace Grace Ministries. For more information about this program, visit embracegrace.com.

Embrace Life: A Group for Single, Young Moms

Embrace Life equips single, new moms so that they can learn to flourish in their relationship with God and not only survive in life but thrive! These brave moms will learn spiritual and practical ways to help navigate their way through life so they can rediscover their capabilities, passions, and dreams. Embrace Life meets weekly and includes a fall semester (Sep-Dec) and a spring semester (Feb-May). Each semester ends with a Life Adventure Day, focused on blessing each mom in a fun way.

Interested in serving? Or are you interested in joining the group or referring another teen mom, contact Kirsten at .

We use the program and curriculum provided through Embrace Grace Ministries. For more information about this program, visit embracegrace.com.

Mentoring

Come alongside teen moms as you provide encouragement, assist with developing life skills, and share your faith in order to establish a trusting relationship. Learn more on our Go Local page.

Stop the Trafficking

There are over 20 million slaves today — more than any other point in history. Modern-day slavery or human trafficking is the selling of a human being by means of force, fraud, or coercion to be used for labor or sex. No country is immune, including our state and our own communities. The average age of entry for sex trafficking victims in the United States is 12–14 years old.

We have the opportunity to engage with our community to make a difference – through prayer, awareness events, and reaching out to survivors of sex trafficking. Consider joining us in one or more of these initiatives!

Prayer

Our text-based prayer group is a community-wide effort in partnership with area churches to support local police on the front lines in the fight to end sex trafficking. We have connections with Christian police officers in Eden Prairie and the larger metro-area who update us as prayer needs arise. These requests are focused on operations to target buyers, those trying to purchase a minor for sex or victims who have been identified but are not yet recovered. We ask all those who receive the text stop and pray for it in the moment and throughout the week. To join, simply text the keyword JOINSTT to 43506. Download more information.

Outreach

We have the opportunity to reach out to those currently involved the life of exploitation as well as helping survivors of sex trafficking. Through partnerships with local organizations, we assist with practical needs, partner through Big Serve events, host retreats, assemble and provide Blessing Bags and more. For more info, email Christine Erickson.

5K Event

We begin planning our annual June 5k event in the fall, and there are many opportunities to help with sponsorships, promotions, and race-day preparations. And of course, we’d love to have you join us on race day. For more info, email Christine Erickson. All proceeds support anti-trafficking organizations with an emphasis on supporting the restoration of sexually-exploited youth.

Grace At Risk Staff

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