Specialized Alternatives for Families and Youth (SAFY) is a child and family nonprofit preserving families and securing futures services that help families and children heal, have hope, and thrive through a model of care that includes therapeutic foster care, adoption, family preservation, behavioral health and supports for older youth. Learn more at www.SAFY.org.
In times of crisis, what’s most inspiring is when ordinary people find ways to help those in need.
Here at SAFY, a nonprofit preserving families and securing futures through therapeutic foster care, we’ve seen the Cincinnati community step up. Offering to watch children for foster parents who aren’t able to work from home. Delivering food. Running errands. Sharing resources for home education. Checking in on older youth who may find themselves unable to work or without a job.
Right now, there is a desperate need to provide foster families and at-risk populations with additional financial support and resources — and individuals around us are responding to this call.
While everyone is affected by this pandemic in some way, children are especially vulnerable because of factors likeabuse, domestic violence, and homelessness.
Sadly, over the past few months, we’ve seen an uptick in the number of children needing foster families. At the start of 2020, there were more than 1,000 children in Hamilton County needing foster care. Since March 1, SAFY of Cincinnati has had a 17% increase in referrals for placements, largely due to the coronavirus pandemic.
As COVID-19 ravages our world, home is not always the safest place for kids to be. This is an unfair burden for youth who have already experienced trauma, through no fault of their own.
We are responding urgently to ensure the safety and stability of children and their families through this uncertain time. Our team of social workers, clinicians, and family therapists are continvvuing to serve in innovative ways, using telehealth and other technologies to reach people. And, thanks to virtual training sessions, SAFY is providing opportunities for caring families to start the process of becoming licensed foster parents — so, once it is safe, a pipeline of foster parents will be available.
Together, we will get through this. In the meantime, if you’re looking for ways to become the helpers and the heroes, please visit www.SAFY.org or call 513-771-7239.
This National Foster Care Month, you can be the difference.