Nockels said a similar conference, the first of its kind, was held last spring with a similar premise.
He said much has changed since then, and much progress has been made.
For example, the 111 Project, so named because leaders wanted to find at least 111 foster care families during 2011, was successful. Nockels, who heads the project, said leaders exceeded their goal.
He said one of the most important signs of success was the change in the culture of foster care in the state. He said he previously described the atmosphere surrounding foster care discussions as a “culture of despair.”
“There was this thought that this is a big problem and it's always going to be a big problem,” Nockels said.
He said some of the people on the front lines of the issue saw faith community members step up and begin to find solutions to problems and pledge their support for the
“As I've seen the faith community faithfully and humbly tackle this issue, the culture has changed from one of despair to a ‘culture of hope,'
“I'm proud of the church in our city and our state and the way they've responded.”
Nockels said the Lord is the model that faith community members may look to as an example.
“In some respects, He's fostering all of us, if you will,” Nockels said. “He has adopted us. We want to make that available to kids in an earthly sense.”