(Above: Brent Lemon, President of KVC West Virginia, presents an award to State Senator Ed Gaunch at the Home Hope Heroes event.)
The Need for West Virginia Foster Parents
Due to the opioid epidemic and other unfortunate circumstances, there has been a rapid increase in children and teens entering out-of-home care in West Virginia. From 2012 to 2016, the number of children in foster care grew 24 percent. Many of these youth don’t have a relative or family friend to watch over them. On top of this, the number of youth entering the child welfare system is outnumbering the amount of available foster parents. As a result, many of these children and teens end up being placed several miles away from their home community and, sometimes, end up being placed in another state. In other situations, youth are placed in group homes which don’t provide them with the sense of love and belonging they deserve. This often leads to them dropping out of school, having increased chances of pregnancy, or becoming homeless, incarcerated or experiencing difficulty finding employment.
It’s a fact that children grow best in families. To keep children and teens in their home communities and prevent them from ending up in group homes, KVC West Virginia has been honored to work with the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources Bureau for Children and Families to implement Safe at Home West Virginia, an initiative aimed to maximize community-based services for youth entering out-of-home care.
“Home Hope Heroes” Event
To raise awareness and support for this program, KVC West Virginia held its second annual Home Hope Heroes event on June 28, 2017. Individuals and organizations from throughout the state came together at the West Virginia State Museum and Culture Center in Charleston for an evening of fun, food and friendship. Proceeds benefit children and families across the state.
Attendees included State Senator Ed Gaunch, State Senator Mike Hall, as well as representatives from the offices of U.S. Senator Joe Manchin, U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito and U.S. Congressman Evan Jenkins. Music was the highlight of the evening, with performances by the WV Treble Makers and Barbara Nissman.
Thank you to all of our generous sponsors!
American Electric Power
Bridge Valley Community & Technical College
Elite Coal Services
Larrick Law Offices
Pennington Plumbing & Heating
West Virginia Institute of Technology
How You Can Help With the Foster Care Crisis
The best way you can help West Virginia youth is by becoming a foster parent. KVC matches hundreds of children in foster care with caring foster families each year. If you’re unable to foster, you can mentor a teenager or volunteer in some way. Donations can make a huge impact on children and families in need as well. We also have a range of corporate sponsorship opportunities for organizations of all sizes. If you have a way you’d specifically like to help, fill out this form to let us know how you want to be involved!