In 2004, Patti Rubino had just welcomed her daughter home through adoption. Amid adjusting to life as a new family, Patti quickly noticed a lack of services in her community for children and families impacted by trauma. “I thought, ‘Lord, we need something here,’” Patti says, recalling her and her daughter’s need for spiritual, mental, and physical support. A nurse practitioner, Patti went back to school to enhance her own toolkit. She studied pediatric mental health education, focusing on trauma and attachment. She continued to pray for an opportunity to create something within the Church.
Years later, while Patti was attending Redeemer Bible Church in Indiana, her pastor noticed foster families and local agencies reaching out for support. Patti seized the moment—this was the opportunity she had been praying for. With her pastor’s blessing, Patti began exploring opportunities for her church to serve foster and adoptive families in their community through a Family Advocacy Ministry (FAM). One of those opportunities was Hands of Hope’s Care Community Clinic. Through the clinic, Hands of Hope equips church advocates committed to the work of helping vulnerable families and children.
Equipped with tools and support, Patti and her team explored the needs of their community. They started asking questions. What did foster and adoptive families in their neighborhoods want? What resources did the church have to offer? Finally, the team saw a clear next step.
“We decided what families needed the most was a Care Community,” Patti says. Care Communities, a program provided through an online clinic, gather people who commit to serving families through tangible and spiritual support. Today, the church’s FAM has nine active Care Communities, involving around 60 volunteers. “We do what we can,” Patti says, “and we just keep praying for more people to come and help.”
“I would definitely connect with Hands of Hope for training,” Patti encourages. The Care Community Clinic includes a year of cohort support from Hands of Hope staff and other church advocates, including access to resources. “There were things we never had to develop,” Patti says. “Paperwork, events, background checks, role descriptions. We didn’t have to develop, we just had to go do.”
Patti understands better than most that the challenges facing child advocates can be daunting. But she encourages everyone with a passion to serve to take their next step forward. “You’ve got start somewhere,” she says. “Everyone can do something.”
Interested in learning more at an upcoming Care Community Clinic? Tap HERE!