It is an expression we all know and use quite often, and we are going to take this expression to heart. Don’t reinvent the wheel.
You may have read our recent post entitled Foster Hope, where we laid out our vision to help support foster families in our county. We have since come across an organization out of Indianapolis who is already doing the very thing we are wanting to do. Not only are they doing what we want to do, but they were willing to train us and share with us everything we need in order to do the same thing in northern Indiana. This amazing organization is called Hands of Hope. Laura and Suzy have been great to work with and their willingness to share with us the resources they have developed is going to save us hours and hours and hours of time.
So with no further ado; we would like to announce our new initiative; Care Communities (formerly known as Foster Hope).
Care Communities Introduction
Nationally, 50% of foster families quit either after their first year or after their first placement, primarily because they did not feel supported. The Care Communities model has been proven to retain up to 95% of those foster parents.
Care Communities are teams of 6-8 people that wrap around a foster family with the purpose of supporting them. Members choose which role they want to play in the care community.
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Roles in a Care Community
Family Helper: Serves the family in tangible ways including meals, house cleaning, laundry, errands, yard work,etc.
Child Mentor: This role is more involved with the life of the child. Child Mentors will provide childcare at least twice a month. Childcare is the area where foster parents need the most support and tend to receive the least.
Team Leader: This role allows for organization of the team as well as you getting to be very involved with the foster family. Generally, tasks will require a time investment of less than an hour per week. Responsibilities include a weekly phone call to the foster family, and a weekly email updating the team on needs of the foster family. The team leader can also serve as a family helper or child mentor.
Interim Caregiver: This role provides overnight care for the foster family when needed.
Are You Interested?
If you live in northern Indian and are interested in starting a care community where you live, we would love to help. Please contact Anthony Troyer at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.