One Church One Child

About This Program

Target Population: Adults willing to become adoptive or foster parents and professionals in the child welfare system

Program Overview

The primary goal of the One Church One Child program is to recruit families for adoption and foster care. The name comes from the mission of the first One Church One Child program founded in Chicago, IL: “to find one family in every one African American church in Illinois to adopt one child.” One Church One Child programs recruit these families by doing a presentation on the program to the targeted audience (e.g., Sunday morning worship service, weekday meeting, conference, workshop, small group discussion, forum, seminar, festival, etc.)

Each One Church One Child program has a board of directors comprised of a majority of clergy that serve as governing board members. The National One Church One Child office or a local One Church One Child agency works in partnership with state and local social service departments and agencies to recruit potential foster/adoptive families. Each program should have the proper technology to accurately, track, collect, analyze and report statistics and information on families, clients, and volunteers.

Program Goals

The goals of the One Church One Child program are:

  • Facilitate and develop campaigns that recruit appropriate shelter, foster and adoptive
  • Develop and implement innovative approaches that reduce the length of stay for children in foster care who are available for adoption; families for children
  • Educate the broader community about the plight of children in foster care
  • Provide training and technical assistance geared toward the adoption of children by families and their communities
  • Develop corporate public/private sponsorship to help support program service delivery
  • Develop, monitor, and evaluate projects designed to address the needs of children in the child welfare system
  • Provide retention and support services to families

Logic Model

The program representative did not provide information about a Logic Model for One Church One Child.

Essential Components

The essential components of One Church One Child include:

  • Recruiting families
    • By posting photos of waiting children at adoption fairs, adoption forums, adoption conferences, etc.
    • Through the nonprofit faith-based communities by training volunteers to find interested families in their local congregation and invite them to informational meetings
    • By posting flyers, booklets, and brochures in local barber shops, hair and nail salons, local food markets, schools, libraries, sororities, fraternities, businesses, local stores, etc.
    • By presenting at school programs; older foster care children who are advocates speak to groups as well
  • Offering monthly parenting classes for adoptive parents using child welfare professionals and local social workers from the partnering agencies and also trained staff from local programs on topics such as:
    • Homelessness
    • Discipline and bridging the Gap
    • Understanding Trauma and Its Impact on Children in the Child Welfare System
    • Understanding How Culture and Spiritual Traditions Impact Child Maltreatment
    • Mental health issues
    • Abandonment
    • Neglect
    • Parenting skills
    • Educational issues
    • Social behavior issues
    • Employment enhancement
    • Survival skills
    • Anger management
    • Health issues for children and family
    • Social media control for children
    • Confronting Conflict: Learning to Navigate Difficult Conversations
    • Kinship Care
    • Respite Care
  • Providing resource materials to each interested family
  • Working with some children when there are special events such as adoption parties, Christmas parties, parenting sessions, etc.

Program Delivery

Adult Services

One Church One Child directly provides services to adults (regardless of whether they are parents or caregivers) and addresses the following:

  • Willingness to become a foster or adoptive parent and lack of knowledge on how to do this

Recommended Intensity:

18-25 contacts a week, 30- to 90-minute sessions

Recommended Duration:

6 months to 3 years

Delivery Settings

This program is typically conducted in a(n):

  • Adoptive Home
  • Foster / Kinship Care
  • Community-based Agency / Organization / Provider
  • Group or Residential Care
  • School Setting (Including: Day Care, Day Treatment Programs, etc.)


This program does not include a homework component.


One Church One Child has materials available in a language other than English:


For information on which materials are available in this language, please check on the program's website or contact the program representative (contact information is listed at the bottom of this page).

Resources Needed to Run Program

The typical resources for implementing the program are:

Office space, PowerPoint projector, screen, lap top, cell phone, AV, receptionist, secretary, recruiters, board members, and volunteers

Manuals and Training

Prerequisite/Minimum Provider Qualifications

  • Executive Director – management skills and outreach skills. Faith-based knowledge. Minimum qualifications is an AA degree
  • Recruiters- 2 years of experience with community outreach and a Bachelor’s level degree or higher in social work
  • Coordinators - AA degree or higher in social and community work

Manual Information

There is a manual that describes how to deliver this program.

Training Information

There is training available for this program.

Training Contacts:
  • Dr. Joan L. Wharton
    phone: (410) 323-6944
  • Dr. Arie Sailor
    phone: (850) 414-5620
  • Dr. Kary Free, Board President
    phone: (405) 514-8404
Training Type/Location:

National OCOC training is done through the board and is provided onsite.

Number of days/hours:

It depends on the location and the program.

Relevant Published, Peer-Reviewed Research

Currently, there are no published, peer-reviewed research studies for One Church One Child.

Additional References

Oklahoma Department of Human Services. (2012). One Church, One Child of Oklahoma. Retrieved from

One Church One Child of Florida. (2015). Florida adoption process. Retrieved from

Virginia One Church One Child. (2017). Virginia One Church One Child.  Retrieved from

Contact Information

Dr. Joan L. Wharton
Agency/Affiliation: National One Church One Child, Inc.
Phone: (410) 323-6944

Date Research Evidence Last Reviewed by CEBC: October 2013

Date Program Content Last Reviewed by Program Staff: December 2015

Date Program Originally Loaded onto CEBC: May 2012