The Amish and Their Neighbors
Friday, June 3, 2022 • 7:00 pm
Who Is Caring for Our Children? Plain Communities’ Involvement in Foster Care and Adoption
Many Plain community families are stepping out of their comfort zones to provide foster care and adoption to mainstream children who have suffered abuse and neglect. While many experiences are positive, others are traumatic as families encounter a child welfare system that is unfamiliar with their culture and faith. Harder will present the findings of a qualitative research study she and a colleague conducted with Plain community families from diverse affiliations and geographic settings who have provided foster care and adoption for children. Themes presented will center around the home study and trainings, exchanges with case workers, experiences of caring for children, and the responses of their communities.
Jeanette Harder has been a professor of social work at the University of Nebraska at Omaha since 2004. She is the founder and director of the Support and Training for the Evaluation of Programs (STEPs), and the coauthor of For the Sake of Children: Love, Safety, and Abuse in Plain Communities (2019), whose intended audience is Amish and Old Order Mennonites. Harder is the cofounder and a board member of Dove's Nest, a nonprofit organization that seeks to “empower and equip faith communities to keep children and youth safe in their homes, churches, and communities.”