S.C. Youth Advocate Program needs more therapeutic foster parents

By Christopher Whitaker
Special to the News & Press

Currently, there are nearly 4,800 children in foster care in South Carolina.

Unfortunately, there are not enough foster homes in our state to care for the population of children, particularly those with some type of special need.

The lack of foster families decreases a child’s ability to remain in their community, which is important in order for the child to maintain family connections as well as attend their home school and place of worship. This often delays permanence for children.

The S.C. Youth Advocate Program (SCYAP), established in 1990, is a private, not-for-profit organization. Our state office is in Columbia, and we have regional offices in Columbia, Charleston, Florence, Greenville and Myrtle Beach.

We implement our mission through statewide programs that provide an array of community-based treatment programs to children and youths by way of focused and specialized services and programs.

All of our children have some degree of emotional and/or behavioral problems, most have been physically abused and/or severely neglected and many have physical, mental and/or developmental challenges.

SCYAP believes every youth has the right to a permanent home and family and that the family and community are invaluable resources in the positive growth and development of each youth. We believe a home should be a safe and nurturing environment where each child can grow to his or her fullest potential.

SCYAP provides support to our foster families through a variety of means, including 24-hour crisis response, guidance and support from foster care professionals, competitive daily pay based on the needs of the child and pre-services and ongoing training for all foster families.

There is an urgent need for loving, caring individuals who see the needs of children in their community, have the passion to respond to that need and are committed to making life better for those children.

These children need and deserve loving homes, but there are not enough foster homes to care for them. SCYAP is searching for adults/families able and willing to provide a safe, stable and nurturing home.

Our goal is to increase the number of foster/treatment families so that we can serve and support children in need of temporary out-of-home placement. The push to find families starts here and does not stop until children in need are matched with a family willing to share their heart, their home and their time.

We are also looking for person(s) in the medical field (RNs and CNAs) to foster children who may have developmental delays or some type of medical condition that requires special care.
Please contact me if you are interested in learning more about the need for foster families in Darlington County.

Christopher Whitaker is Florence and Midlands Recruiter/Family Finder for the S.C. Youth Advocate Program. He can be reached at 843-661-7080, 803-414-5066 or at scyap.com.

Author: Rachel Howell

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