In recognition of May as National Foster Care Awareness Month, the South Texas Alliance for Orphans (STAFO) is calling on churches and community members alike to join the mission of combating the current foster care crisis by opening their hearts and homes to children in need. With over 3,000 abused and neglected children in our community in the foster care system each year, STAFO has set an ambitious goal of recruiting 200 new foster families in 2024.
“There is a critical shortage of foster parents across South Texas,” said Jennifer Smith, Founder and Executive Director of STAFO. “Our ultimate goal is to end the foster care crisis and break the generational cycle of abuse and neglect by creating a ‘bench’ of families ready to provide a safe and nurturing environment for children and restoration of families. We focus on equipping and empowering churches and individuals to provide vital support and resources for foster, adoptive and kinship families and caseworkers.”
STAFO is a unique organization that bridges the gap between the often under-utilized church community and the overburdened foster care system. They work directly with churches to educate leaders and members about the foster care crisis and empower them to take action.
“I thought money was the best way you could help someone within the foster care crisis until I met Juan,” said John Fischer. “Here was this very young man trying his best to be a man to his newly adopted siblings, and it was clear he had no one to model what being a man was all about. I was able to teach him how to replace the brakes on his car and what to do when you have a flat. He was so appreciative and enthusiastic about learning these things too. I’m grateful the Alliance has provided opportunities to not just give money to someone in need but also an opportunity to truly connect to another person in need. We’ve kept connected and he knows if he has questions he can call me for help. I hope that makes him feel less alone.”’
For the month of May, STAFO is encouraging anyone interested in helping to choose one of their many ways to get involved:
• Individuals can take A quick and easy online quiz to determine if fostering is right for them. A staff member will then reach out to provide a free consultation and provide additional resources.
• Attend a free informational meeting to answer questions and provide a clear picture of the fostering experience.
• Make plans to watch a documentary providing an in-depth look at the foster care crisis, releasing July 4th titled “Sound of Hope: The Story of Possum Trot” – the true story of an East Texas church committed to becoming a solution to this issue.
• With National Foster Care Awareness Month shining a light on this critical issue, STAFO is urging churches and community members to step forward and become a beacon of hope for a child in need.

The South Texas Alliance for Orphans (STAFO) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to building a community of support for children and families impacted by foster care, adoption, and kinship care. They serve churches and individuals across San Antonio and the surrounding areas, empowering them to become a force for positive change in the lives of vulnerable children. To learn more about becoming a foster parent from veteran foster parents, visit their website at