Groups rally to support foster youth impacted by COVID-19

Groups rally to support foster youth impacted by COVID-19

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Foster children and the families that support them need your help through the COVID-19 crisis.

Advocates believe the pandemic could lead to more children being placed in foster care. Many local groups are turning to online fundraising to support families during this challenging time.

Children’s Home Society of North Carolina provides resources for foster families and helps children find forever homes. Just like most businesses and other agencies, they’ve had to move their programs online.

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Leaders said the stay-at-home orders are also making it harder for some foster children to see their biological families and they’re also doing their best to help them maintain connections virtually.

This time of year, Children’s Home Society usually hosts it’s largest annual fundraiser where they bring in roughly $1 million to support their programs. Now they’re taking their campaign online. And also creating a relief fund for families hit hard by COVID-19.

“They have done so much to work with us to help kids in need and families in need and now they’re in need and we want to be in a position to give back to them and help them,” said Matt Anderson, VP of Programs for Children’s Home Society of NC.

All week they’ll be posting stories online to raise support for their Staying at Home- with Children’s Home Society of NC fundraiser.

And 25% of donations made to the website this month will help foster families suffering financial hardships due to COVID-19 through their family relief fund.

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Many other groups are rising to meet the needs of foster youth during the pandemic.

Many older foster youth who were in college need help with housing as campuses close to stop the spread of the virus. The organization Together We Rise launched a digital campaign to help meet the needs of older foster youth who’ve lost their housing or may need help with moving, obtaining internet access, cellphones or other types of support.

Congregation for Kids is also accepting donations to provide gift cards for groceries to foster youth who have lost their housing or jobs due to COVID-19. They’ve provided more than 100 gift cards and are taking request for help from and ways to serve community members who are social workers, foster youth and foster parents here.

Eyewitness News has covered the shortage of foster homes in the state and advocates believe the crisis could lead to more kids entering the system. They’re encouraging people who may be interested in learning more about fostering to join their upcoming orientation session.

Charlotte nonprofit Foster Village is also providing meals and virtual support group meetings for foster families.

Thousands of children in NC foster care system in limbo due to COVID-19 crisis