Rawlings School of Divinity


Doctor of Ministry (DMin)


Jacob Dunlow


Burnout, Fatigue, Frustration, Isolation, Stress




The purpose of this action-based research project was to expose the absence of the church from active/personal involvement in the lives of foster families. The foster care system is overloaded, resulting in burnout of both foster parents and administrators. This results in a negative impact on children who enter the foster care system. Data was researched from the national, state, and local levels to note trends in the foster care system and reference that data with current books and journal articles analyzing trends/needs in the system. The intervention utilized interviews, questionnaires, and observations to gather information on the status of the foster care system from the local stakeholders, followed by an educational teaching series to draw Hopewell United Methodist Church’s key leadership into personal involvement and investment of themselves and their church property into a new position of being a stakeholder themselves. The result of this research will be helpful to other churches as a model for intervention and participation in their ministry areas. It is not the intent of the researcher to suggest replacing current ministries that provide resources for the foster care system. This project revealed an additional need for the local church to invest personally for the good of the children coming out of traumatic home situations. The results indicated that the church can most effectively address the stressors on the foster care system by coming alongside the foster families in the neighborhoods surrounding Hopewell UMC.

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