ABILENE, Texas (KRBC) – A new initiative to prevent families from separating has made its way to Texas.

“We’ve been partnering with the Dodge Jones Foundation since 2015 to bring an innovative program to Texas called the Safe Families for Children, said Andrew Brown, Vice President of Flourish Now.

The Safe Families for Children program is now up and running in Abilene. Community leaders of multiple organizations gathered for breakfast Thursday to discuss what could be done to help kick the program off in the right direction.

“What Safe Families does is it partners with churches in the local community to help families that are experiencing crisis situations, to provide safe, stable care for children, and to come alongside those parents so that they can overcome the issues that they’re facing,” said Brown.

The program’s objective is to prevent children from needing foster care.

“It’s a preemptive alternative to foster care that’s designed to keep families together,” said Brown.

The average child spends 40 days with a host family home throughout the program and, according to Brown, has a 96 percent success rate of children returning to their homes.

“By and large the bulk of it is community outreach, this is a volunteer driven movement,” said Brown. “All of our host families that take in kids and befriend their parents are all volunteers.”

Community volunteers are what drives the program.

“It’s strictly a great volunteer opportunity in a Christian community to work together to make sure all our kids are safe,” said Larry Gill, Grants Administrator for the Dodge Jones Foundation.

“We would love to connect with churches, individuals, organizations in the communities that feel like they can open their hearts and homes to families and children who really just need love and support,” said Brown.

 If you are interested in volunteering or learning more about the Safe Families for Children program, visit https://safe-families.org/ for more information.