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Relying on faith: Agency looking to Oklahoma churches to find foster families

OKLAHOMA CITY - Lullabies signify an end to Mckayla Girton's night as she cares for a child whose parents she's never met.

"It was just something God placed on my heart,” Girton said.

The calling came from a series at Life.Church in partnership with DHS called 'orphans embraced.'

"It was really cool to help our church understand how God has called us, our church, to be point A to help kids and families that are navigating the foster care system," said Brian Word, executive campus pastor at Life.Church.

As a result, 2,000 people inquired about fostering or adopting a child.

"It's a place where thousands of people every single weekend come, so partnering with churches to articulate the need for foster families was important," said Dr. Deb Shropshire, Deputy Director for Child Welfare Services at Oklahoma Department of Human Services.

With almost 10,000 child in state care and around 4,500 foster homes, there is still a huge need.

"We'd like to be able to say what does this child need? And, here are five places I have the option to connect that child with to meet their needs. That only happens if we have enough foster homes,” Shropshire said.

DHS is also working with several area churches on another initiative called the care portal, a place where needs are posted.

"They don't have maybe a community around them, which is sometimes how they wound up in the spot they wound up in."

For Girton, giving back means giving a home for helpless children.

"You know, these children come to you broken, and they don't have a home and you're their home," she said.

If you’re interested in finding out more about fostering, visit the Oklahoma Fosters Initiative.