#38. Making Orphanages Obsolete: Recovering Family-Based Care for Vulnerable Children

Elli Oswald reconsiders the ways American churches serve vulnerable children and honor them as image bearers of God.

Through the Faith to Action Initiative, she advocates for systemic changes that would make orphanages obsolete around the world.

What You’ll Learn :

  • The Research about Orphanages, Family-Based Care and Child Development
  • The Risks Involved with Mission Trips to Orphanages
  • How Conflicts — Like the War in Ukraine —Affect Children and Orphans

About the Guest: 

Elli Oswald is the Executive Director of the Faith to Action Initiative. The organization advocates for family-based care for children and functions to “mobilize and educate churches, faith-based organizations and individuals to engage in care that upholds the vital importance of family in a child’s life.”

Prior to this role, she served as Director of Mission and Outreach at Bethany Community Church in Seattle, Washington. There she guided Bethany Community Church in various ministries to the poor and vulnerable in Seattle and around the world. Elli has also served as the Children in Crisis Research and Communications Coordinator for World Vision International’s Child Development and Rights Technical Team which specializes in community-based care for children deprived of parental care.

Elli has a B.A. from Pepperdine University and a M.A. in Cross Cultural Studies and International Development from Fuller Theological Seminary. She has worked with a wide variety of non-profit organizations, including Union Station Homeless Services in Los Angeles.

Scripture Related to Episode:

Genesis 1: 27, All Humanity Created in God’s Image

Links Related to Episode:

Faith to Action Initiative

Faith to Action Initiative – FB

Faith to Action Initiative – Twitter

Resources to Learn about Child Advocacy

Timestamped Show Notes:

01:07 – Topic: The Importance of Family-Based Care for Orphans and Vulnerable Children

01:56 – The Blessing of Extended Family

03:31 – The Faith to Action Initiative

04:22 – What the Research Says about Orphanages vs. Family-Based Living

05:00 – Where Is the Orphan’s Family?

05:34 – When a Child Might be Better-Off in an Orphanage

06:48 – Mission Trips to Orphanages — the Risks, the Money and the Children

08:24 – Child Advocacy and Supporting Vulnerable Families

09:09 – Discrimination and Children with Disabilities

09:44 – Follow the Money

10:29 – The Impact of War on Children and Orphans

11:49 – Adopting Children and Orphans

12:53 – COVID’s Global Impact on Children

13:37 – When a Child Loses a Care Giver

13:54 – Holistic Care for Children

14:47 – It Can Happen!

15:09 – History of the Church Protecting the Vulnerable

16:20 – Find Resources and Connect with the Faith to Action Initiative

17:29 – Knock, Knock. Who’s There?

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