Press Release Foster Together

Press Release Foster Together

Lake County Foster Care Pilot Program to Improve Lives of Vulnerable Children in Indiana’s Foster Care System

Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Hands of Hope and Lake County Legacy Foundation form coalition to support Foster Together Indiana providing safe, loving homes to children in need

INDIANAPOLIS (May 3, 2021) – A coalition of faith-based, community support and corporate organizations is launching a pilot program in Lake County that will deliver an innovative approach to improving the lives of vulnerable children in Indiana’s foster care system.

Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Hands of Hope and Lake County Legacy Foundation are coming together to support Foster Together Indiana by providing safe and loving homes to children in need through the Lake County foster family recruitment and retention coalition.

With support from the coalition members, Foster Together Indiana will increase equitable recruitment of foster parents, increase the number of resources that provide wraparound support to foster families through faith-based “Care Communities,” and increase the overall number of available foster homes in Lake County.

“Our Care Community was such a blessing to us. Through our Care Community, we saw our family strengthened and our children’s lives enriched in ways we never dreamed of. We’re so grateful that they will be part of our family’s story forever,” said Amy Jo, an Indiana foster and adoptive mother.

According to the Indiana Department of Child Services (DCS), there are more than 11,000 children in foster care in Indiana.

Foster Together Indiana will engage child welfare agencies and the faith community in the Lake County Area in a data-driven, collective impact approach. The goal is to recruit and retain foster parents and provide technical support to develop unified campaigns to support existing foster families and attract new families into the foster care community. The group is supported by a customized executive education curriculum developed by the Indiana University O’Neil School.

“I’ve seen the success of our business community and want to bring that focus, intensity and commitment to the state’s foster care system,” said Foster Together Indiana Founder Takkeem Morgan. “This requires the support and collaboration of a diverse public-private partnership that will leverage the best practices of private business to help kids thrive.”

Morgan is a former foster youth and was a Foster America Fellow who is also working on improving the state’s strategy for equitable foster parent recruitment and retention.

“Becoming a foster parent takes guts, determination, perseverance and putting the needs of a stranger in front of their own needs. DCS is always searching for the right foster parent that can meet the specific needs of a child, because every child is unique in the care that they need,” said Angela Smith Grossman, DCS Assistant Deputy Director of Field Operations for Placement Support and Collaborative Care. “It’s a challenging role and having organizations create and support care communities like Foster Together, is necessary for recruitment and retention of a diverse pool of foster parents to serve the children in our care.”

With May being National Foster Care Month, this is an opportunity to play a part in enhancing the lives of children and youth in foster care.

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