Let’s keep the holiday spirit of giving going throughout the year! St. Irenaeus Catholic Church, through their Health Ministry, has recently become a member of the CarePortal network, joining 2,419 other faith communities in the United States. The final CarePortal Information Night presentation will be held via Zoom on Tuesday, February 9th at 7 p.m. It will be led by Joe Ash of the Peace Plan, as well as our St. Irenaeus CarePortal Leadership Team. This presentation is open to St. Irenaeus parishioners and the community-at-large. At this meeting, we’ll be encouraging individuals to sign up as Responders. You may be thinking, “What is this all about, and what is a Responder?”
CarePortal is a tech platform that supports vulnerable youth by connecting people who have needs with people who can fulfill those needs. Responders play a part in supporting biological and foster families, helping to keep biological families together, assisting foster youth who have aged out of the foster care system and are at high risk for human trafficking, and helping human trafficking survivors become self-sufficient. This ecumenical organization utilizes online technology to connect vulnerable youth and their families in need with people who can help.
All requests are vetted and submitted by either a case worker, social worker, county or child welfare professional to the CarePortal network. Next, Response Teams or individual Responders determine if they can fulfill this need, either partially or fully. CarePortal will also show who has responded, so everyone can easily see what needs remain to be fulfilled.
There are several alternative levels of response. Level One provides resources to stabilize the situation of children and their caregivers. Level Two provides support for children and families through sharing your time and developing caring relationships. Level 3 welcomes children or families either temporarily or permanently into your home.
There are a variety of ways you can help meet the needs of vulnerable youth and their families through CarePortal. First, pray that those in need experience God’s compassion through these acts of kindness. Second, discern whether or not you and your family want to serve as part of a Response Team or as individual Responders. Parents might choose to join a Response Team as a family unit to teach the virtues of caring and mercy to their children. Philanthropic organizations or faith groups could join as a group, so the responsibility is not on just one individual or family. When a request is received, the Response Team decides if this is a need they can fulfill, either fully or partially.
If you have interest in becoming a CarePortal Responder or would like to find out more about CarePortal itself, we encourage you to register for the February 9th presentation by sending an email to [email protected] and note “CarePortal Feb. 9th” on the subject line. That way we can send you the access link to the Zoom presentation. For questions or concerns, please contact Jennifer Dagarag, RN, St. Irenaeus’ Faith Community Nurse, at 714-826-0760, Extension 124. CarePortal is a wonderful opportunity to put your faith into action.
This article was written by Rosemary Lewallen.