In Chile vulnerable children who cannot be looked after by their families for varying reasons are placed in the care of the government institution SENAME (Servicio Nacional de Menores), where they are looked after in children’s homes. Sadly the conditions or treatment are not always ideal and there have been scandals in the news about cases of abuse and even children dying in these homes. The idea of foster families for the children is something relatively new here in Chile, starting only 4 or 5 years ago, and the process of screening to be a foster family continues to be slow.
Movimiento Acogida are spreading awareness of the needs of these vulnerable children, training church leaders and members, and encouraging Christian families to be foster families through the SENAME programme with which they already have close links. Their goal is to “wake up” the church to be the ones who are defending the weak and fatherless who in this case are the infants put into care. They long to see these children cared for not only by families instead of in institutional homes, but Christian families where as well as love and care they will receive the word of God, a seed sown for the rest of their lives.
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