Livingston County Catholic Charities (LCCC) announced, with great appreciation, that it has received a grant in the amount of $3,000 from the Gannett Foundation for wiring and technology needs for the expansion of LCCC’s Foster Family Care and Adoption programs. Due to the growth in the programs and the needs of the community, LCCC is leasing an additional 3,000 plus sq. ft. office space in the same complex as its main agency office to house the Foster Family Care and Adoption programs. The Gannett Foundation grant will be used towards the purchase of equipment and services needed to outfit the vacant office space for computer and phone systems. The Foster Family Care and Adoption programs were licensed in April 2012 and began to serve children in July 2012. The main objective of each program is to provide safety and permanency for the children. Foster care is a temporary solution to quickly secure a safe environment for a child while a plan is established for a permanent placement, whether the child is returned to their original home with additional services for the family, placed with a member of the extended family or the parental rights are terminated and the child is then available for adoption.
Since the inception of the programs, LCCC has served a total of 85 children in its Foster Family Care and Adoption programs. During that time, 37 children were successfully adopted after reunification with the biological parents was not a possibility; nine were successfully reunited with their families after extensive counseling and wrap-around services were completed; four youths transitioned into independent living or guardianship services; five were moved to other foster care agency homes; and 30 are currently in LCCC’s program. Of the 30 currently in its program, one-third have an adoption plan and two-thirds are working with their birth families toward reunification. Currently, there are 140 children in the foster care system through the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) in Livingston County. In spring 2016, there were 170. All of the adoption services of DHHS’ children are provided through the private sector, which includes Livingston County Catholic Charities. With the growth of LCCC’s Foster Family Care and Adoption programs to meet the needs of the children, families and community, the acquisition of larger office space was necessary. The new facility will help LCCC to provide room for its growing staff. In addition, it now is able to have a large and comfortable family visitation room that provides a more home-like atmosphere for families to work towards reunification. Its previous space was insufficient, necessitating family visitations at local libraries, churches or other community facilities. Livingston County Catholic Charities is pleased to have the Gannett Foundation as a partner in serving the children and families of Livingston County. An open house will be scheduled for some time this spring and it hopes that the community will stop in to see the generosity of the Gannett Foundation at work.