(LAKELAND, FL) — More than 400,000 children live today within the U.S. foster system – a number being driven upward by the opioid crisis. Meanwhile, an estimated 15 million children worldwide have lost both parents. The challenges are immense, but a global coalition of churches and 190+ respected organizations are laboring together to change reality for these children.
This month, the Christian Alliance for Orphans (CAFO) celebrated the addition of a new board member to the leadership of this work, Dr. Jerry Haag. Dr. Haag serves as president and CEO of FBCH and One More Child, a leading foster care and family crises prevention agency headquartered in Lakeland, Fla. that provides services in more than 50 locations locally and globally.
“We are thrilled that Dr. Haag’s immense gifts will be such a vital part of guiding and growing the mission of the Christian Alliance for Orphans,” said Jedd Medefind, CAFO’s president. “His sharp mind, loving heart and effective servant-leadership for children embody the DNA we’re working to see embodied in Christians across the world.”
Without intervention, children that grow up outside of caring families face a future that is statistically tragic. By their mid-20s, roughly four in five young men have been arrested. And nearly 70 percent of the young women are on public assistance. Those who “age out” of foster care without being adopted experience PTSD at nearly twice the rate of US war veterans.
These immense vulnerabilities are just as vivid for children who’ve lost their families worldwide – with dramatically increased rates of disease, malnutrition, human trafficking and other ills.
“The need is vast and heartbreaking,” said CAFO board chair Tami Heim. “But with leaders like Dr. Haag serving alongside self-giving people around the globe, there’s every reason for hope we can make a profound difference together for hurting children across American and all over the world.”
Prior to his current role, Dr. Haag served as Baylor University’s Vice President for University Development in 2011. He also brings experience from the corporate world, including AT&T, and is a Certified Financial Planner. He earned a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in finance from Baylor University and earned a Ph.D. in finance and real estate in 1995 from the University of Texas at Arlington. Jerry and his wife, Christi, enjoy speaking together, and have two sons, Ben and Brady.
In 2017, FBCH and One More Child impacted 200,524 children and families through its programs and services.
Image: Dr. Haag CAFO Board.jpg / Dr. Jerry Haag, President / CEO of FBCH and One More Child, and his wife, Christi, with Jedd Medefind, President of Christian Alliance for Orphans (CAFO) and his wife, Rachel.