FFTA, a national organization representing nearly 500 private and nonprofit agencies that provide therapeutic resources to foster children, is hoping to present a proof of concept for how these providers can partner with public agencies to better serve foster children with wraparound services while they live with relatives.
According to the terms of the three-year grant, which kicks off this month with a year of planning, two of North Carolina’s 100 counties will be selected to participate in the pilot project, with at least one urban county and one rural or suburban county.
According to FFTA board member Brian Lynch, who has helped guide the effort, the project will focus on two distinct populations of foster youth in out-of-home kinship care: children entering the foster care system for the first time and those who are transitioning out of congregate care and into a family-based placement. The two counties will probably work with four private service providers operating in the state.
“Most of our member agencies are already doing some kind of kinship work and if they aren’t, they should be — the train is leaving the station here,” said Lynch, who also serves as CEO of Children’s Community Programs of Connecticut. “The vitality of the foster care field right now is all about figuring out how to do kinship work well. We hope that kinship treatment foster care is going to start to be one of the levels of care on the continuum, not just an outlier.”