Program provides Safe Families for children

January 15, 2008 3:20:28 PM PST
Safe Families provides children with a loving place to call home when their parents are unable to care for them. Area families who participate in the program open their homes and hearts to the children, who have parents- but need somewhere else to stay until they can care for them.

Amber and Brenton Smith are caring for their two children, 3-year-old Abigail and 2-year-old Titus, and a third child, Taniah, 3 months. The Smiths are taking care of Taniah until her mother can care for her.

"I think we understood the need and I felt it was something we could do to help children like Taniah or any children who needed a place to stay," said Amber.

"Really where my heart is is taking care of children," said Brenton. "I've traveled to other countries worked in orphanages. I know there a need for the right stuff here my own neighborhood."

Dr, David Anderson of the Lydia Home Association is the founder of the program. More than 300 families have volunteered for Safe Families.

"All of us are very busy. None of us feels like we have room, but we find that when people are in need. They realize that they can make room in their home to take care of a child for a very brief period of time," said Dr. Anderson.

Donna Rangell's child was in the Safe Families program.

"It meant that I could focus on myself, knowing my kids were getting help. Families that had my kids," said Rangel.

The amount of time a child spends with a family can range from two days to 18 months. The average stay is 45 days.

Taniah's stay with the Smiths will be brief. Her mother is in school and working.

"It's something that's definitely going to make an impact on her life, for sure," said Brenton.

For more information on the program, call 773 736 1447 or visit