What is CarePortal and How Does It Work?

By James Pruch
March 12, 2024 • 3 min read

As God’s people, we want to make a difference in our communities. But we often encounter daunting hurdles that hinder our ability to help vulnerable people. One of the largest obstacles is access. How do we get close to people who are in need?

It’s something Christians, even entire churches, struggle with. Can you relate?

But what if making a difference was simpler than we imagined? CarePortal is a tool that can help. It’s a digital platform designed to empower God’s people to support children in your area who face difficult circumstances

What is CarePortal?

CarePortal is a user-friendly app that connects your church, family, or business to a list of the urgent needs of vulnerable children within your specific geographic area. These children may be in foster care, kinship placements, or struggling within their own families.

CarePortal eliminates the need to donate to generic funds or vague initiatives. This tool allows you to directly address tangible needs, such as providing a car seat for a single mother or bunk beds for a family fostering new children.

One of the most encouraging things about CarePortal is that it’s a fantastic tool to help churches partner together to serve children and families

How does CarePortal work?

Participants receive real-time requests via the CarePortal app. These needs are submitted by a variety of community partners–school social workers, doctors, state caseworkers, or other human service agencies. Then, they are approved by a staff member at Christian Heritage who oversees all CarePortal requests. This process ensures that all needs are genuine and verified.

Once a need is identified and approved, the need is sent through the platform to partner churches, businesses, and ministries in the area. Through the app (or the CarePortal website), the organization or an individual can step up to fulfill these needs by providing items directly or donating through the app. It’s a collaborative effort to ensure no child slips through the cracks and receives the support they urgently require.

how does careportal work

What kind of requests come through CarePortal?

The range of needs that come through CarePortal is diverse. But that means you can participate in ways that work for you. The top five most needed items on CarePortal are:

  • Beds (including cribs, toddler beds, and bunk beds)
  • Dressers
  • Living room furniture
  • Car seats
  • Seasonal items/services

But why are these items so crucial, and how do they truly make a difference in families’ lives? Each plays a pivotal role in ensuring safety, permanence, and overall well-being for children and families involved with child welfare or even in preventing the need for such involvement.

  1. Safety of a child: Imagine a single mother leaving the hospital with a newborn, unable to afford a crib. Without a proper sleeping space, the baby might end up sharing the bed, posing safety risks. Providing a crib ensures a safe sleeping environment for the infant.
  2. The well-being of a child: Consider a family where children sleep on makeshift pallets and lack proper storage for their clothes. While not directly hazardous, this situation impacts their well-being. Supplying beds and dressers improves their living conditions and strengthens the family’s ability to care for their children.
  3. Reunification of a biological family: In cases where children are temporarily placed in foster care or with relatives, parents may fulfill requirements for reunification but lack essential furniture like living room sets. Furnishing their home ensures a stable environment for the children, facilitating family reunification.
  4. Placement with a kinship caregiver: Sometimes, children are removed from their biological caregivers and placed with relatives. However, lack of car seats can hinder kinship providers from caring for them safely, potentially leading to further disruptions in the children’s lives.
  5. Foster licensing of kinship caregiver: To become licensed foster parents, relatives caring for children need to meet certain standards. Assistance with seasonal items/services, such as air conditioner repairs, can ensure a comfortable living environment, aiding in the licensing process and ultimately benefiting the children in their care.

Meeting these needs is critical to ensuring the safety, well-being, and stability of vulnerable children and families. CarePortal makes meeting these needs possible.

Become a church partner

For churches seeking to elevate their impact in the community, CarePortal offers a simple solution. The best part? CarePortal is free for any church to use. Because of the generous support from national partners, local churches get access to:

  • Opportunities to engage with the most vulnerable members of their community
  • Streamlined organizational processes, minimizing administrative burdens
  • Consistent avenues for evangelism and discipleship
  • Collaboration with fellow local churches
  • Enhanced participation in local outreach

If you are a church in eastern Nebraska, Christian Heritage will be your CarePortal implementing partner to help you get up and running. Contact us to learn more about CarePortal or sign up to get started today.

James Pruch

James is the Marketing & Development Director at Christian Heritage. He and his wife, Carly, are former licensed foster parents. Before joining CH, James worked as a pastor, college minister, and CPS investigator with Nebraska DHHS. He and Carly have four kids and live in Lincoln.