While the foster care system has been in a state of emergency for some time, the Covid-19 pandemic has pushed the Texas foster care system past its limits. Many foster homes, temporary shelters, and group homes have closed their doors due to increased scrutiny, lack of funding, and uncertainty due to the current circumstances. Some foster parents have had to close their homes to protect immunocompromised family members. Others lost their jobs or could not continue to care for their foster kids while schools were shut down.

Regardless of the reason, we know that there are just as many, if not more, kids currently entering the foster care system and fewer beds to place them in. Current statistics reflect a record number of kids sleeping in state CPS offices or hotels due to a lack of foster homes. There are not enough families available to care for the number of kids coming into foster care.

Kids in foster care often don’t have equal opportunities for normal childhood experiences due to frequent moving, lack of resources, demanding schedules, and a lack of programs willing to accept children with more intense behavioral and emotional needs. Lonesome Dove Ranch exists to provide those opportunities and meet those needs. At Lonesome Dove Ranch, our goal is to provide foster kids with a week of first-time experiences, unforgettable positive memories, and healthy relationships with safe adults. Most importantly, we introduce them to the healing love of Jesus.

However, Lonesome Dove Ranch has a secondary, but just as important, goal of providing hard-working foster parents with much-needed respite. LDR provides foster kids with a safe place while their foster parents enjoy a few days to focus on their marriage, catch up on laundry, get some rest, or whatever it is they may need, at no cost to them.

Sending kids to Lonesome Dove Ranch is just the first step in connecting foster parents to a support network that extends way beyond a week of camp. We intend to provide foster families in North Texas and beyond with resources to equip them and events tailored specifically to them throughout the year.

We believe that if foster and adoptive parents are adequately supported and resourced, we will see better outcomes for the kids in their care, as well as more people willing to open their homes to kids who have experienced trauma.

If you are a foster or adoptive parent in need of support or somebody interested in becoming a foster or adoptive parent, please send an email to missions@northplacechurch.com