The Shocking Facts
* A majority of the children who come into foster care, come with only the clothes they are wearing.
* Parents working toward reunification are hindered by inadequate locations for supervised visits.
* Rural communities lack basic needs that larger communities have access to.
In very city where DCS has a branch office, there is a desperate need for a safe place to hold visitation between parents and their children who are in DCS care.
Currently, these DCS offices are forced to host these meetings at their office complex. As you might imagine, these offices are not set up or adequately prepared to provide a warm friendly environment for families to visit with their children…some for the first time since removal by DCS.
To address this need, DCS is reaching out to the faith community to provide Visitation Rooms for DCS case workers to hold a parent-child supervised visit. Your church can now sing up with OCJ Kids to serve as one of these visitation centers, where volunteers from your church can turn on the lights, unlock the doors, and welcome these children and families into your church room or nursery for a night of reconnecting with their children who have been removed by DCS and now live in out-of-home care.
Steps to get you connected:
- Contact OCJ Kids Offices, firstname.lastname@example.org
- OCJ Kids staff will contact the DCS office in your city and schedule a meeting with you, your potential project point person, and the DCS area supervisor
- OCJ Kids will also contact other social community leaders and schedule an additional meeting
- Working together with DCS and community leaders, we will assess individual community needs and establish strategies to meet and exceed identified needs
- Create a collaboration of additional faith community partners
- Establish community collection sites and financial partners
- Set up a meet and greet with all project leaders, DCS case workers, foster parent or agency representatives, and DCS Supervisors to exchange contact information and hours of operation
- Enlist, train, and equip volunteers to coordinate product distribution and oversee parent/family supervised visitation dates. Volunteer workers are required to be fingerprinted and pass a background check
- Create a long term network of community support to replenish hygiene Welcome Kits, Transitional Suitcases, diapers, and clothing items at the distribution centers
- (Optional) Offer family life skills training classes to estranged parents and family members (to increase the rate of child-parent reunification), and offer youth ages 16-18 a Transition Coach to create a life plan and exit strategy in preparation for aging out of the system