Date of Award

Spring 4-28-2017

Document Type


Primary Advisor

Dr. Chris Corbett


Nearly half a million children are currently served by the child welfare system in the United States. This overwhelming strain on state departments and non-profit placement agencies is compounded by the fact that there are not enough available homes. There appears to be a shortage of capable and resilient foster and adoptive parents. Thousands of children who are ready to be adopted do not have anyone to take them in, and thousands more float in the system until new families agree to foster. This seeming shortage of homes is absurd considering the wealth of compassion and capability within the American church. With training in trauma-informed care and the support of local ministerial leadership, the body of Christ can be empowered to be the solution to the foster care crisis in the United States. This paper utilizes a variety of authoritative sources to synthesize information about the current state of the U.S. child welfare system and the church’s responsibility to be actively involved. By examining secular literature, Christian literature, and Scripture, the investigator presents a comprehensive understanding of the church’s role in the system, and progressive dreams for future growth. Reflections on personal interviews with ministry leaders and individuals associated with foster care draw together current research and experiential understanding of the relationship between church and state in the arena of child welfare.