A New Direction

Q: I work with the Department of Juvenile Justice, but I’ve had dreams of opening up a foster home/ after-care program for troubled kids. I have written down plans, gone over them several times, and spoken to people about them, but I’m not getting anywhere. Can you point me in the right direction to find grants and write a proposal?
— S. Mereigh, Orlando, FL

A: Providing a temporary home for foster children takes a tremendous amount of love and patience.

Contact the National Foster Parent Association (www.nfpainc.org), whose mission is “to support foster parents in achieving safety, permanence, and well-being for the children and youth in their care.” This organization will help you perform best practices in your organization; develop the necessary education and training for the students; and find the resources you’ll need at the local, state, and national levels.

The NFPA advises that you contact your state foster parent association and local department of children and family services. Check the phone book for these listings. In addition, there is a plethora of information about foster care on the NFPA’s site.

For grant and proposal information, try foundations such as The Annie E. Casey Foundation (www.aecf.org), the Freddie Mac Foundation (www.freddiemacfoundation.org), and the Stuart Foundation (www.stuart foundation.org), all of which have programs dedicated to children and their well-being.