James 1:27 says, "Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction and to keep oneself unstained by the world."
But how many Christians actually obey this scripture?
Julie Paine, national director for Domestic Family Preservation Services at Bethany Christian Services, says this verse is crucial to making a difference in children's lives across the United States.
Sadly, many parents are not equipped to properly care for their kids, whether because of drug addiction or unsafe living. As a result, many children have to go through the traumatic experience of foster care, Paine says.
That's why Paine works hard to keep families together whenever possible. She shares on the Charisma News podcast that her team trains and equips families so that the children don't have to enter the foster-care system.
"Rather than removing the child, the therapist visits the family frequently during the week, sometimes all times of the day and on weekends," Paine says. "We partner with parents and help them learn how to live safely and care for their children safely in their homes."
The team teaches parents crucial family skills such as emotion management, relapse prevention, behavior management and much more.
"The most impactful family preservation service that Bethany offers is called Home Builders, which is often the last step before removing a child from the family," Paine says. "Our Home Builders program keeps kids safely at home with their family over 87% of the time ... even when we check in with them six to 12 months later. Most parents have learned and practiced what it takes to keep their children home safely.
"And to think about the number of kids who could have been removed from their home without offering their family these kinds of home-based services is so tragic. We have to give parents and their children every opportunity to stay together."
Learn more by listening to this interview with Paine. Visit bethany.org for more information.
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