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Friday Forums

Caring for the Orphan: Adoption and Foster Care, from Home to Church to Public Policy

"Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress...." James 1:27

In this session, Jedd Medefind led a conversation with other experts in the field of orphan care to discuss policy issues surrounding vulnerable children. Jedd serves as President of the Christian Alliance for Orphans (CAFO). Through CAFO, more than 190 respected organizations unite in shared initiatives, along with a wide network of churches. CAFO’s membership works in tandem to inspire and equip families, churches and organizations for effective service to vulnerable children and families — from adoption and US foster care, to aid and empowerment programs worldwide.

Prior to his this role, Jedd served in the White House as a Special Assistant to President George W. Bush, leading the Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives. In this post, he oversaw reform efforts across the government to make community and faith-based groups central partners in all Federal efforts to aid the needy, from prisoner reentry to global AIDS. As described by the Harvard Political Review, these reforms “fundamentally changed the government’s strategy for improving the lives of the downtrodden…”

Previously, Jedd held a range of posts in the California State Legislature. He also helped establish the California Community Renewal Project, which strengthens nonprofits in some of the state’s most challenged communities. He has worked, studied and served in more than thirty countries, with organizations ranging from Price-Waterhouse in Moscow to Christian Life Bangladesh.

Jedd has written many articles and four books, including Upended and Four Souls. His most recent book, Becoming Home, offers a short yet meaningful exploration of how families and communities can embrace vulnerable children with wisdom and love through adoption, foster care, mentoring and more.