Foster care is designed to protect children, but unfortunately, it can harm them further. Kids are moved from place to place, many of which are not equipped to help them heal from their trauma.
The Restore Network was created to help the church respond. We link arms with those on the front lines of foster care through long-standing partnerships with child welfare agencies and court staff. But, as a privately run organization, we can remain agile in our response to the foster-care crisis, allowing us to respond in realtime, as Christ would.
As we engage the foster care crisis, we remember that every person is created in the image of God. Therefore, each person has goodness and dignity within them — each wounded foster child, each struggling birth parent, each broken family. We value each life. Father Gregory Boyle, a Jesuit priest, writes, “The wrong idea has taken root in the world. And the idea is this: there just might be lives out there that matter less than other lives.” Every life has incredible value because of God.
We face the world as it is. God created this world good, but it has all been tainted by sin — by what we’ve done, by what’s been done to us, and by the brokenness that has taken hold of creation. Sin has the ability to destroy life through a vicious cycle of personal tragedy and failure, which is often seen in the “cycle of foster care.” By serving the foster care sphere, we are honored to link arms with birth parents who have likely suffered abuse, neglect or abandonment themselves, leaving them without the necessary resources to parent well. We are lights for Christ in this cycle of hurt brought on by our fallen world.
We put away the pointing finger (Isaiah 58:9) and put on love. Love heals what is broken and restores God’s goodness in each life. We love because God first loved us. We serve a Savior who showed us compassion when we were lost and without hope. He did not save us from far away, but drew near and made His dwelling among us (John 1:14). Our love for birth families is rooted in the compassion that Christ showed us. Henri Nouwen reminded us that compassion means “to suffer with”: “Compassion asks us to go where it hurts, to enter into places of pain, to share in brokenness, fear, confusion, and anguish. Compassion challenges us to cry out with those in misery, to mourn with those who are lonely, to weep with those in tears, to be weak with the weak, vulnerable with the vulnerable, and powerless with the powerless. Compassion means full immersion in the condition of being human.”
We love the church. We are convinced that God longs to bring healing and restoration to families through the body of Christ. God designed children to grow up in healthy families, but when families are in crisis, God wants to heal them through the church. No other community on earth has the privilege and the power to stand between what is and what shall be in the world. The church is the sign pointing to new creation, the foretaste of what it will be like when all is restored and an instrument by which God restores goodness in the world right now. We work with God to love and to heal, and we rejoice with God when families are restored.
We see family as a haven and refuge not only from the world but also for the world. Family is not an impermeable sanctuary that one must be born into but, instead, is a hospitable people who share a readiness to welcome others home. Children who have been harmed in relationship will only find healing in relationship. Therefore, families are the primary way to bring healing to vulnerable children.
We believe that every Christian and every church can participate in caring for the vulnerable. James 1:27 says, “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” While we are all called to care for the vulnerable, those callings will be different: some will foster, some will adopt, and–just as importantly–some will support. In 1 Corinthians 12, Paul calls the church “the body of Christ” in order to make a comparison to a human body. Just as the parts of our bodies must work together, so all believers and all communities of believers must use their diverse, God-given gifts to minister to the vulnerable. Some are called to foster, some are called to adopt and some are called to support, but we are all called.
We are committed to pursuing God’s restoration in the lives of the children we serve. Trauma affects everyone in tremendous ways, and healing is not quick. We enter the journey with realistic expectations, which means we prepare ourselves for a difficult and uncertain journey for the sake of the child. We are committed to being learners for how to parent children from hard places, and we will ask for support and resources during times of crisis.
The Bible is the inspired and infallible instrument for God’s authority being exercised in the world. We submit ourselves to the Spirit’s voice addressing us through scripture to correct error, heal brokenness, reveal God’s plan for restoration and release us for service to the world.
We have an unwavering, non‑negotiable commitment to what’s best for each child.
The Restore Network is faith-based, but we welcome all to help solve the problem.
We are an
Organization-wide financial reports are always available upon request.
Our Executive Team
The foster care crisis seems overwhelming. So overwhelming, in fact, that – no matter how heartbreaking – it can feel intimidating to act. Surely someone better equipped will respond. We felt that way too, at first.
We took a risk, opened our homes, and now invite you to join us to play your part.
Katie graduated with a degree in elementary education. While serving overseas, God began to stir her heart about the crisis of vulnerable children. This stirring grew stronger as Katie taught in a low-income school in her community. She and her husband began fostering when The Restore Network started as a ministry of their church, where Katie served on staff. God caused the ministry to grow and expand into a whole community of churches working together and Katie became the executive director in 2014. She can relate to the challenges and joys of family life, currently raising five children of her own and having spent five years as a foster parent.
Director of Trauma-Informed Care
Ashley has a Master of Social Work degree from St. Louis University and, since 2007, has worked with foster and adoptive parents, before becoming a foster parent herself in 2014. In 2019, Ashley became a Trust-Based Relational Intervention Practitioner and uses her education and training in trauma-based parenting to equip staff and foster parents within the Restore Network to facilitate healing for the children we serve. Ashley is also the proud parent of three boys that were placed with her through foster care.
As Development Director, Ashley is responsible for raising the funds to keep The Restore Network rolling. She has been involved with the organization since its inception, volunteering her time and helping to raise support, so her commitment to our work runs deep. In 2014, she and her husband, along with their three biological children, became a foster family. They have adopted two children from foster care, growing them to a family of 7! Her work is deeply important to her and she considers it a great honor to work for an organization that brings fulfillment and joy to donors, while also bringing healing to homes and a solution to the foster care crisis.
Director of Church Partnerships
With a background in church planting, pastoral ministry, and foster care, Shayne feels the call for the Church to respond to the need and brokenness of the foster system in very personal ways. After pursuing adoption for over a decade, his family of six entered into foster care with The Restore Network and experienced the joys and the challenges of opening their home, hearts, and lives to foster care and, most recently, the adoption of their two sons. He has a passion to see the Church live out the gospel by bringing hope and healing to children and families in the foster system and works to advance that cause by engaging, supporting, recruiting, and challenging God’s People to action.
Use this guide as you pray about your response:
8 Ways Your Family Can End the Foster Care Crisis
(…whether you become a foster family or not).