Welcome to the website of the Fostering, Adoption and the Church research project, which is based at Redcliffe College in the UK.

The aim of the project is to motivate and resource the Church in addressing the crisis of vulnerable children in the UK and beyond.

Our vision is: Societal transformation through biblical, theological and missiological research that mobilises and supports Christians in fostering and adoption.

The Need

There are currently around 68,000 children in the UK care system with 4,000 children waiting for adoption and 8,600 children in need of foster families. 62% of children in care are there because of abuse or neglect. Only 15% of children in care achieved five GCSEs A* to C including Maths and English (the national average is 58%). Local authorities spend an average of around £35,000 per year per child in care, totalling £2.5 billion.[i] Behind these statistics are real children with real needs, real hurts, real gifts and real value.

The Opportunity

The Church seems uniquely placed to address this crisis as we participate in God’s mission by expressing the values of the kingdom of God in society (cf. Deut. 10:18; Ps. 68:5; James 1:27): ‘What if the Church was known as the most compassionate and hospitable family in the country? … What if your church could be the community of hope and healing for these children?’.[ii]

While there is a growing impetus within the UK Church to rise to the challenge (such as the Home for Good initiative – http://www.homeforgood.org.uk), there is a recognised need for more substantial biblical, theological and missiological resources to help mobilise and support Christian communities’ involvement more effectively.

The Contribution

The ‘Fostering, Adoption and the Church’ project will address this need and opportunity by conducting and communicating biblical, theological and missiological thinking through:

  • Rigorous published research that raises the profile of fostering and adoption in the academy and the Church;
  • Accessible writing (online and in print) and production of resources for individuals and churches;
  • A blog / resources website with accompanying social media with regular reflections on the project’s developing thinking, links to existing resources, and opportunities to interact with our work;
  • Acting as a source of research and advice for stakeholders in fostering and adoption.

Project lead

Dr Tim Davy has a background in student ministry and marketing, and is currently Director of Research and Innovation at Redcliffe College, where he has taught Biblical Studies and Mission full-time since 2010. He has an MA in Biblical Studies (including a dissertation on the widow, orphan and alien in Deuteronomy) and a PhD in Old Testament, which focused on a missional reading of the Book of Job.

[i] Statistics taken from http://www.homeforgood.org.uk; ‘Children in Care’ report by the National Audit Office, 2014; ‘Children in Care in England: Statistics’, House of Commons Library, 2014

[ii] Krish and Miriam Kandiah, Home for Good: Making a Difference for Vulnerable Children (London: Hodder & Stoughton, 2013)

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