Lawrenceville – Child welfare advocates are seeking help from the faith-based community to address the critical need for foster families in Gwinnett County.

The Division of Family and Children Services (DFCS) and the nonprofit agency Families 4 Families are hosting a luncheon for the faith-based community on March 19, to raise awareness of this growing need.

The number of Georgia children in foster care has increased from about 7,600 five years ago to nearly 14,000 today. In Gwinnett County alone, there are 686 children in foster care and only 85 foster homes registered with DFCS.

“Recruiting enough foster homes for children placed in our care is a constant challenge,” said DFCS Interim Director Virginia Pryor. “We encourage the faith community in Gwinnett County to participate in the upcoming luncheon and join our efforts to find loving and supportive homes in which to place our children, whether temporarily or permanently. Together, we can provide hope for Georgia’s most vulnerable.”

Families 4 Families founder Wayne Naugle has been working to recruit, train and support foster families since 2014, after he and his wife, Kelli, adopted two children through foster care.

“Our desire is to find other loving families who can help hurting and broken families in the foster care system,” said Naugle. “Children escaping abusive or neglectful situations need a safe place to live and be loved, and the birth families and foster families of these children need support. Families 4 Families exists to help address all of these needs.”

Naugle said the luncheon is open to all faith-based leadership. It will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Monday, March 19, at the Gwinnett DFCS office located at 95 Constitution Boulevard in Lawrenceville.

The luncheon is free, but registration is required by visiting the following link: