A faith-based community meeting on Sept. 28 brought together members of the Department of Family and Children Services (DFCS), church and community leaders to address some of the issues that the area has had in terms of handling foster care. The meeting was held at Douglasville First Presbyterian Church.
"We recognize widows, orphans when they're in our church, in our community and we're connected to them," said the Rev. Dr. James Harper, First Presbyterian Lead Pastor. "But all of the orphans, all of the kids that are in foster care in our community are ours -- we just don't recognize that we love them -- that they belong to us. We recognize that we're just not doing a good job of that."
Harper later explained why it's important for ministries to take the lead in situations like foster care.
"That's our job, to recognize that God has great love for widows and orphans -- great love for kids that stand in the gap. That's our job to fulfil that commission. So we're glad to be here because it's important. It's a part of what we're supposed to be doing and we're not doing it well," Harper said.
The church has since brought in foster parents to help them understand the process earlier this year, according to Harper.
Douglasville City Councilwoman Lashun Burr Danley said she believes faith helps deal with this issue in the community.
"Our pastors are the heartbeat of our community in my opinion," Danley said. "What we do for our children and what we do for our families will last forever."
Virgina Pryor, DFCS division chief of staff, said congregations in Georgia could help to solve the issue.
"If one church took just hold of one child, we wouldn't have any children in the system. Could you imagine? Just one," Pryor said.