About Our Chapter
Safe Families for Children would not exist without the hard work and dedication of our volunteer families. We have host families who open their homes to vulnerable children. And family friends who support families in need by providing transportation, facilitating family visits, providing tangible resources to host families and so much more. We also have a group of parent mentors that serve our parents in need and a group of volunteer family coaches who monitor the care of a child while he or she is in a host home. Please contact us if you are interested in becoming a host family, family friend, or family coach!
The backbone of the SFFC movement is the Church. We believe that the Church must take its rightful place in ministering to the vulnerable and disempowered members of our community. We have churches who partner with SFFC by recruiting and supporting volunteers, hosting trainings, and developing networks within their congregation that can fully support a placement and engage in a Christ-centered relationship with the whole family. Our partner churches vary in size and denomination, but there is a common theme among them–they all have at their core the desire to be the hands and feet of Jesus to those in need in our community. If this matches the culture of your church, please contact us so that we can partner together.
Our churches and volunteer families are the driving force behind the Safe Families movement. Because the impact of SFFC is based on Christ-centered relationships, it takes many people working in various capacities to support families who are going through difficult circumstances. We also have a staff who is passionate about growing the SFFC movement. Staff members support our churches, reach out to referring agencies, authorize host homes, provide training to volunteers, make and supervise hostings, and much more.
Pittsburgh Chapter Director
Candace Shoenberger comes to Safe Families PGH with many years experience working with children in the Child Welfare system and at-risk families in the foster care and adoption field. She served in a direct service role with children removed from their homes and also with families in a training and advocacy capacity. Candace has a passion for helping to build resilience in children and keeping families intact. Candace and her husband served as foster parents for many years and have adopted 3 children out of the foster care system. She helps to run a foster parent support group and speaks publicly about her experiences as a foster and adoptive parent.
Candace and her family currently live in the South Hills of Pittsburgh and are active members of Pittsburgh Mennonite Church in Swissvale area of Pittsburgh.