All families can face challenges. In some cases, the challenges a family faces can be harmful to the children like if his or her basic needs aren’t being met like providing safe housing, food, and love, or if there is abuse towards the child.
When the well-being of a child becomes a concern and the court system determines that a child cannot remain safely in the home, the child is placed in out-of-home care. To help a child keep things as normal as possible, the courts look to place the child in a home that they know, like with a relative or a trusted adult that they know. If one can not be found, the child is then placed with a trained foster family for care. If behavioral treatment is needed, the courts may look to help the child by admitting them in a residential treatment center if needed.
While a child is in this temporary placement, social workers work expediently to identify the factors that led to the child being removed from the home and provide support to the parents so their child can safely return home. Additionally, a caseworker is assigned to the child and ensures their needs are being met.
As of August 2018, more than 6,600 children have experienced abuse or neglect that has led them to enter out-of-home care in West Virginia. Here are just a few ways you can help a child who’s been abused or neglected.
Become a Foster Parent
The most impactful way that you can help a child who’s been abused or neglected is to become a foster parent and provide love and support to them while their parents work towards reunification. Foster parenting is no different than parenting a child of your own; and in the case of foster parenting, you get to make a significant impact on a child who is going through one of the most difficult times of their lives.
Making this decision is a big step, and it’s understandable if it seems like an overwhelming prospect at first. However, the experience is unlike any other. You don’t have to be the perfect parent, and people from all walks of life become foster parents. Click here to check out real-life examples of foster parents. If you’re interested, KVC West Virginia provides you with free training, resources, and ongoing support. Click here if you’d like to learn more.
Anyone can spread the word about child abuse and neglect prevention. Do you know someone who’d make a great foster or adoptive parent? Refer them to this page. KVC West Virginia offers a referral bonus once they get licensed. Also, sharing articles on social media is also a great way to get the word out about the need for more caring families. We publish frequently on a wide variety of topics related to child welfare. Check out a host of articles you can share here, and visit our Facebook page for more shareable content.
Volunteer at Your Local Child Welfare Organization
Volunteering is also an excellent way to help children in need. Volunteers can provide temporary care for children, help with fundraisers, organize events and much more. Click here to check some of our upcoming events near you. If you’re pressed for time, donating is also helpful. Donations don’t have to be monetary: school supplies, clothing, food and more are always needed.