Supporting Adoption & Foster Families Together, inc. (SAFFT) is a 501(c)3 organization with a mission to protect children, rebuild families, and empower caregivers.
Everyday our program aims to save broken children before they become broken adults. We have created an environment like nowhere else in the State of Georgia to protect society’s most neglected and abused children. These children are protected and served through our Family Life Center that provides family and sibling visitations, a clothing and resource closet, scholarships, and a powerful life skills and mentoring program that builds them up.
Our journey begins when the doorbell rings at our center and a broken family walks through the door for the first time. Instead of trying to fit a family into a particular model, SAFFT serves the family based on their unique circumstances. We understand that children in foster care are not looking for a new family but simply want their own family healthier and more stable. We offer families in crisis safe supervised and supportive visitations, domestic violence services, parenting and life skills education, a mentoring program that provides life coaching, Celebrate Freedom classes, a career closet, transportation, and emergency aid.
The calling to care for an orphan is challenging. Navigation and proper support is necessary for a child and their caregivers going through foster care and adoption. SAFFT offers these amazing caregivers critical support during and after their journey such as monthly support meetings, a supportive network, education and training, meals for a new placement, and respite care. SAFFT believes one of the best ways to support a foster child is to ensure that their foster or adoptive family is successful and empowered.
Our Model for Success
Below is a picture of how we approach every crisis in a family. We believe that the true path to family healing is to support the child, the birth family, and the caregivers involved (foster or adoptive). If you can save a broken child, they will never become a broken adult. If you can rebuild a family, you can impact generations and change family trees. If you serve and support the caregivers, the children will ultimately be better off.
History (Our Story)
In 2008, two foster parents in Forsyth County, deeply affected by a tough situation fostering a child, felt lost, burnt out, unsupported, and unsure if they should continue to foster or give up. They felt that they were traveling this journey called “fostering” alone. So, they decided to start a support group for foster and adoptive families that met on a monthly basis at the local public library to support and encourage one another. Quickly, the community started to rally around the group and volunteers began providing child care for the support group meetings. A monthly “Parent Night Out” program was established and for the first time, the foster children could interact and fellowship with others like themselves. The program not only gave childrsen the opportunity to relate and socialize, but it provided a break for the families that care for them. After just a few meetings, the founders decided to form a board of directors, and SAFFT was born.
In early 2009, SAFFT launched parenting support programs in Forsyth County, Georgia. To support the dynamics of these programs, SAFFT opened its first visitation center in Cumming, June of 2010. The significance of this center is to provide families a safe, comfortable, reassuring, and accessible homelike environment in which a structured, neutral alternative to unsupervised visitation can take place. In this safe and neutral setting, SAFFT’s personnel can monitor contact between a child (ren) and an adult (usually a parent) to protect the rights and safety of all involved. The SAFFT visitation center (now called the Family Life Center) offers an individualized, needs-based parenting curriculum to enhance a caretaker’s ability to provide a nurturing and structured home environment in accordance with the Juvenile Court and Department of Family & Children Services requirements. In 2012 in partnership with the CJCC and other domestic violence agencies, SAFFT was awarded a grant from the Office for Violence Against Women to open the first visitation program in North Georgia to serve victims of domestic violence. SAFFT now operates a second location in Dawson county to serve families in both Dawson and Hall. By 2013, SAFFT had outgrown their location and moved into a 10,000 sq. ft. facility off Castleberry Rd. The new center would be called the Family Life Center and can now serve 3-4 times the number of families.
In recent years, the need in the community has increased, and SAFFT’s success and ability to serve the families in crisis greatly widened. With contributions from local organizations, SAFFT has grown to accommodate the need in Forsyth, as well as support Forsyth’s surrounding counties including Cherokee, Dawson, Hall, Gwinnett, and Fulton.