By Amanda Boston
In the Tampa Bay area, an average of eight children are removed from their homes because of abuse, neglect or abandonment. A Door Of Hope is a Christ-centered foster care agency that recruits, trains, licenses and supports foster families. Its name originates from John 10:9 where Jesus said, “I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved…”
In 2011, Tom Teel, a pastor and foster parent and Godly Daniel, formerly the Director of SafePlace, opened A Door Of Hope, previously known as 4KIDS Tampa Bay.
Daniel said, “We (Teel and Daniel) bumped into each other at a time when he (Teel) was being asked to do things in foster care he didn’t feel was in line with his faith. So we talked, and he asked me, because of my past experience, if I would help start a Christ-centered foster care agency here in Tampa Bay. And so I said I would love to, and we dove into this adventure.”
A Door Of Hope’s mission is to provide hope for every child in crisis in the form of a safe home. The Tampa Bay area desperately needs foster families for children as young as two days old until 18 years old.
The state requires foster parents to have 21 hours of “Professional Parenting” training. At A Door Of Hope, the training is biblically focused and shares God’s heart for the orphans, which is expressed in James 1:27. Depending on class scheduling and the timeliness of required paperwork, the agency can license foster parents in about 60 days.
Kelley Klein, a foster parent from Brandon said, “My husband and I chose to license through A Door of Hope because our goal is the same: share the love of Christ through the mission field of foster care. Having a support group of people that knows your name and prays over your family is probably the biggest reason we are still foster parents.”
The next parent training is scheduled for March and April at First Baptist Church in Riverview, located at 8626 US-Hwy. 301 S. Childcare is provided during the training for ages 0 to 10 years with a reservation. To sign up, visit www.adoorofhope.com or call 727- 322-7640.