Columbus Chapter

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Meet Our Chapter

Safe Families for Children Central OH started in 2017 and is growing throughout the Central OH area.  We are committed to serving families who are in crisis and socially isolated with the gospel in both word and deed. Our heart is to engage the local church in family preservation through Biblical hospitality.  Our main objectives are family support/stabilization, preventing abuse and neglect, keeping kids out of foster care when not needed, and reducing/repairing childhood trauma.



PRAYER: We are a movement directed and focused on prayer. The second Tuesday of every month we have a prayer morning for our Safe Families Chapter, you can follow us on Facebook for up to date prayer requests.

EMPOWERMENT: Our heart is to empower each person involved in the movement of Safe Families, from referring parents, to volunteers, to our church partners.  We highly value our training for our volunteers and seek to empower them throughout.

EXCELLENCE: We are focused on quality not quantity.  We refuse to compromise our quality because of rapid growth.

SHEPHERDING:As a staff we take very seriously our role of shepherding our volunteers and referring parents. We seek to love and support through regular prayer and encouragement.

GOSPEL-DRIVEN:  We are unapologetically Christian with a heart to pray for, love on, and share the Gospel with each family we are put into contact with.  2 Corinthians 5:14, “For Christ’s love compels us…”



Phil Krause, Co-Director

A blessed husband and proud dad to two children and one on the way!  Phil has been involved with ministry for over 15 years and been exposed to vulnerable children and families.  Through his walk with God and the experiences God has given him, God has instilled in him a heart for those who are hurting and seeking community.  It was through foster care, more than anything  else, that had Phil felt led to pursue Safe Families for Children.  “I love that we get to empower families in the midst of crisis to come out of it and become the family they want to be.  I love that God is using the community of Jesus Christ to help be the answer.”

Melody Marshall, Co-Director

Melody is a proud mother of 4 sweet kiddos, the children’s director at Awaken Church, and blessed to be called to walk alongside families from hard places! Melody has worked with kids and families for the past 20 years in many different ways, from owning and operating her own daycare, to being a family coach for Boystown in California. Melody and her husband, Jeff, were the first host family in Central Ohio and have hosted kids in their home for over 500 nights. She is excited to be a part of what God is doing through Safe Families! “God sets the lonely in families, He leads out the prisoners with singing.” Psalm 68:6a

Mandy Litzke, Family Coach Supervisor 

Mandy is a foster alum, wife, and mom to the masses! Her life experiences  have led her to a better understanding of the trauma that is endured by many children living in crisis. This drove her to study the effects of trauma and help others facing the challenges personally or  parenting children from hard places. She is a passionate advocate for children across the US and around the world.  14 years ago Mandy first heard of Safe Families and knew this could be vital to so many to her own community. She began to pray that Safe Families would one day be right here in her own back yard. 13 years later God answered that prayer and blessed her with the opportunity of being a part of the opening of our Central OH Chapter and serves as a Family Coach Supervisor and a member of the trauma informed training team.

Lori Neff, Family Coach Supervisor
Lori grew up in Bogota, Colombia where she witnessed not only poverty but the church being the answer to kids in crisis.  Since then she has served in ministy, non-profits, and a social enterprise for the past 10 years.  The Lord has grown her heart not only for kids who are in crisis but families without support or encouragement. It was through supporting friends who were fostering, and living in a small neighborhood with the purpose of sharing Jesus and building community that she was drawn to the heart of Safe Families.  Lori loves her role of coming alongside parents and families and connecting them to the community of the body of Christ. Lori and her husband and daughter live purposefully investing in their community on the West side of Columbus.
Brandi Curfman, Family Coach Supervisor
Brandi is a wife, mom of two precious kiddos and a licensed social worker. Brandi is new in her role as an official staff member, but has been volunteering with Safe Families Central Ohio since March of 2018. She first heard about Safe Families when she was working as a case manager in the foster care system in Kansas City. She helped start the chapter there as she saw the desperate need for the church to intervene and prevent children from becoming entangled in the foster care system. She went on to get her masters in social work as she desired to help prevent and treat childhood trauma. Brandi works as a counselor in a primary care setting serving under resourced areas of Columbus as well as with Safe Families. Her favorite part of her role is being able to share the knowledge God has given her through the years and seeing families being kept together through the tangible love of Jesus.
Ben Connor, Full-Time Intern
Ben recently joined staff after completing his bachelor’s degree at Ohio State University. He spent his college years leading a ministry in the Linden area as well as a college small group bible study. Through his experience in Linden, a lower income and higher crime part of town, he learned what it means to invest in kids and build relationships with those in poverty. Ben will be starting a mentoring program for the kids we serve and is excited to take on the challenge!

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