As our region adjusts to a post-covid life, our foster care services are experiencing a different crisis brought on by the pandemic. More children have entered the foster care system with fewer foster parents to help care for them. In addition, during the pandemic, many foster parents stopped taking in kids for fear of jeopardizing the health of their biological families. As a result, children have had to sleep in DCS (Department of Children’s Services in TN) and DSS (Department of Social Services in VA) offices while others are being temporarily cared for on a night-to-night basis at different foster parent homes. These children often do not know where they will be from one day to the next.
“The number of children entering the foster care system continue to grow while the availability of foster homes is shrinking. They are being removed for a variety of reasons but thery’re just aren’t enough foster homes to place them in. They are children of all ages with no place to go. Many are having to sleep in DCS offices or at the Isaiah 1:17 houses until a foster home is located, sometimes more than one week. There is a great need for families willing to foster and provide safe, nurturing, and supportive homes to children who have to enter foster care.” – Noelle Grimes, LCS, Division Director for Children’s Continuum Services
Now, more than ever, we are in dire need of foster parents. All children need a loving family and a place to learn and grow. You can help not just by providing a warm, loving home but you can also help meet their physical, emotional, and social needs. Therapeutic Foster Care is available for children in need of a home in Tennessee and Virginia through Frontier Health’s TRACES and VALUES programs. The programs are licensed child-placing agencies through the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services and the Virginia Department of Social Services. The staff in these programs work with the therapeutic foster family through training, guidance, support, and links to needed services.
“VALUES is in critical need of loving and supportive foster and respite homes in Southwest Virginia. There has been a recent influx of children to the already overwhelmed foster system. Now more than ever we need families to not only open their hearts but their homes to children in need. It only takes one understanding, caring adult to positively impact the life of a child. If unable to foster or provide respite, please consider volunteering to an organization or donating times as a mentor that helps local children in need.”– Alex Enriquez, VALUES parent recruiter/trainer
Frontier Health’s two licensed child-placing agencies, TRACES, and VALUES, will work with you to help a child in need of a home as they provide you with the tools you need, which include:
- 24/7 support
- Reimbursement for providing care to children
- Links to other services required
- Access to “in house” services for their children, such as therapy and medication management with a designated therapist and psychiatrist
To learn more or to apply to TRACES (TN) Therapeutic Foster Care, please visit: https://www.frontierhealth.org/foster/traces/
To learn more or to apply to VALUES (VA) Therapeutic Foster Care, please visit: https://www.frontierhealth.org/foster/values/