Funding for Group Foster Care Homes Drastically Cut
In response to the recent news that the US Congress has passed legislation that “eliminates funding for foster children residing in congregate-care settings, such as group homes,” as stated in the July 17 Times-News story “Future uncertain for children in group homes,” Homes For Youth is stepping up its efforts to identify and train prospective foster parents in Henderson County. The primary concern in child welfare is providing a continuum of services for children in foster care, keeping sibling groups together, and providing independent living support for youth as they age out of foster care. Without residential group care in Henderson County, the need for community-based foster families is and will continue to grow. Additional licensed foster homes will enable more Henderson County children to continue receiving services in the county.
Because the new legislation makes little, if any, provision to fund the recruiting or training of new foster parents, it falls to local organizations such as Homes For Youth to take the lead. Homes For Youth is a local 501(c)(3) non-profit organization whose mission is to provide stable, safe and appropriate housing with positive role models to homeless youth in Henderson County, enabling each young person to reach his or her potential. Since its inception in 2014, Homes For Youth has partnered with Henderson County Department of Social Services to recruit and train foster parents, resulting in a significant increase in the number of foster homes in the county. In 2016 Homes For Youth purchased a single family home that is rented to foster parents, at a subsidized monthly amount, and occupied by five previously homeless girls. It is currently seeking funding through grants and individual and corporate donations to purchase a second home within the next two years.