On February 19th, 2022, CarePortal-Roanoke reached the two-year anniversary of its launch. In February of 2020, Patrick Henry Family Services (PHFS) and the City of Roanoke Department of Social Services (DSS) partnered together to launch CarePortal. In the first two years, 800 children in Roanoke were served, and 421 CarePortal requests were met by 33 different churches as of February 18th, 2022.
“The intent of CarePortal is for child-serving agencies to notify the Church about needs,” explains Steven Martin, Director of the City of Roanoke Department of Human and Social Services. “Families receiving this support have been able to overcome a period of crisis, better provide for their family, and develop a relationship with local churches. Several families have been able to maintain their children in their home due to the assistance from CarePortal.”
Part of the mission that PHFS seeks to accomplish through CarePortal is exactly this: that the Church would step into the responsibility of caring for children, for orphans, for single parents, for families from hard places. This is made exponentially more possible through collaboration with the City of Roanoke DSS. Since the launch of CarePortal in Roanoke, 52 DSS caseworkers have made requests and taking part in this vital collaborative effort.
The families and children served through CarePortal aren’t the only people who benefit from it. DSS staff members have loved watching the positive impact unfold among those they work to support. According to Director Martin, “Staff have had a renewed sense of caring community and have expressed appreciation at the generosity demonstrated by the churches. Staff are inspired when a connection is made that allows families to have a support system outside of the Department.”
Any individual, church, or organization can partner with CarePortal. Kim Tulou serves as the primary point person for Together Church, a name given to a group of individuals dedicated to meeting the needs of Roanoke’s children and families. “We hope that our group of responders will continue to grow,” she says. “We want to help get more churches on board and more agencies posting needs. We believe that God’s love will be shown more and more in Roanoke City through this tool.
In its first two years, CarePortal-Roanoke has had an economic impact of $292,808. That number, as well as that of children served and organizations involved, will only continue to grow.
To learn more, visit visionthirty.org.