CCS Enhanced Homes: A New Way to Foster

Media Contact: Milo Wesley, mwesley@ccsgeorgia.org

CCS Enhanced Homes: A New Way to Foster
With a 90% success rate, this program is changing foster care

Norcross, GA: Toni had been in and out of Psychiatric Residential Treatment Facilities and foster homes since she was only 8 years old. She was passed around from hand to hand, home to home, treatment facility to treatment facility, never settling down long enough to truly find a home for herself. In fact, Toni was essentially homeless in this way, living as an unwanted guest wherever she was placed, which was never for very long.

This story is not as unique as we may want to believe. The truth is, a large portion of youth in foster care require “specialized care” due to increased levels of physical, mental, and/or emotional needs. Therapeutic Foster Care (TFC) was developed at Creative Community Services, specifically to care for and support children & teens with moderate to severe behavioral problems. The youth in TFC often are the victims of trauma and abuse and are considered Severely Emotionally Disturbed (SED). In Toni’s case, though, she had seen too many foster homes, and it was obvious that traditional foster parenting just wasn’t working.

In April, 2015, Creative Community Services (CCS) began its innovative Enhanced Home program. This type of foster care setting was created for the youth like Toni that would fail in “typical” foster homes because of their behavior and be caught in that cycle of being continuously passed around, which only creates more trauma in their lives. April 20th marked the first day of the Enhanced Home program in action.

In an enhanced home, the foster parent goes to live with the foster youth, rather than the other way around. A foster parent is selected and matched with the child based on their experience and their ability to move into an already-furnished apartment, and they are reimbursed for rent, utilities, groceries, and care for the child. The parent (or one of the parents, if a couple) should not be employed, as the child that they share a home with should be their main focus.

Because this home is furnished, the foster parent does not have to experience the loss of personal things if the child becomes destructive. Being the only child in the home, the foster youth receives the one-on-one attention they truly need to succeed.

CCS surrounds this foster family unit with all of the support and resources it needs. A SOAR (Behavior Intervention) team works with the parent and the child to provide techniques and tools to help the youth grow and succeed in a community setting.  A family consultant is in the home weekly and is also available 24/7 for crisis intervention.  Additionally, there is a large supportive team that includes others outside of CCS: a therapist, psychiatrist, DFCS worker, school personnel.

Finally, if for some reason the foster parent feels they can no longer foster, they move out and the child remains in the home.  The child, therefore, does not experience another move from their home and school.

“Toni had never been successful in a community setting until she came to CCS and found a home and a life in our Enhanced foster care program. She has her ups and downs, but she has not had to move from her school setting and she has not lost her home!  For the first time in her life she is living in a home in the community and going to school in the community, successfully.  She has been in the community for 2 years now and will soon be graduating with a regular degree from high school,” says Sally Buchanan, CEO of CCS. The Enhanced Home program boasts an incredible 90% success rate, and Sally says the CCS programs are constantly working to improve and grow.

So who is qualified to become an enhanced home parent?

There are many factors that influence whether someone is qualified to be a foster parent, but there are a few unique factors you want to consider when it comes to Enhanced Home parenting. This program may be a good fit for you if:

  • You are currently renting and your lease is coming to an end.
  • You are getting ready or are willing to move.
  • You are a graduate student.
  • You are interested in working one-on-one with a youth on improving behaviors and life skills.

This program may not be a good fit for you if:

  • You are a home owner and don’t expect to be selling your home anytime soon. However, traditional foster parenting opportunities are available to you at CCS!

Currently, Creative Community Services is the only agency in Georgia which provides this type of foster care program. CCS is leading the way in developing creative solutions and programs to help improve the lives of foster children, adults with Developmental Disabilities, and their families.

If you are interested in learning more about CCS’s Enhanced Home Program, other foster parenting opportunities, or CCS in general, you can check out their website at www.ccsgeorgia.org or contact their office at 770-469-6226 or by emailing them at info@ccsgeorgia.org.

 

About CCS

Creative Community Services, Inc. is a non-profit organization that improves the quality of life for children, teens and adults with developmental disabilities and mental health needs, and their families, by providing direct services and community-based support throughout the state of Georgia. Visit their website at www.ccsgeorgia.org
To become a fan of CCS on Facebook, go to facebook.com/ccsofgeorgia. Follow CCS on Twitter (@ccsgeorgia) and Instagram (@ccsgeorgia).

About the author: Milo

Milo
Milo is the Digital Marketing Specialist & Content Producer at CCS. He manages our website as well as our social media accounts. He lives a second life as an actor and a member of Cosplay Volunteers of Atlanta, bringing joy to children in hospitals and at charity events.

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