Lutheran Services Carolinas has received a $200,000 grant from The Duke Endowment to fund the creation of a statewide family recruitment team to seek out and educate foster families to care for children.
The Endowment grant will be used to address a growing problem in North Carolina: a lack of licensed foster families to care for youth. In times of financial and emotional stress, rates of child abuse and neglect rise. Because of COVID, many families have been dealing with multiple stressors, such as illness, job losses, and social isolation. As a result, the need for compassionate and qualified foster parents is greater than ever, since a surge of children entering foster care post-pandemic is expected.
In the past, LSC has had great success building foster home capacity by using highly trained staff devoted solely to family recruitment. The Endowment grant will allow LSC to build on this success by creating a statewide family recruitment team to identify families eager to care for children in LSC’s family foster care, therapeutic foster care, IAFT (Intensive Alternative Family Treatment), and specialized programs serving LGBTQ youth, victims of trafficking, and those with complex needs.
Foster care can make a huge difference in a child’s life. One of LSC’s former foster care clients, Michael Cruz, was recently named valedictorian of his high school and is now attending North Carolina State University. “Foster care helped me excel as a person,” Cruz told LSC supporters at a recent LSC event.
“The Duke Endowment has been a great friend to the Carolinas and to Lutheran Services Carolinas,” said LSC President Ted Goins. “Their support and leadership have allowed LSC to serve in so many ways, including now the important work of building better North Carolinians through safe and loving foster families. The Duke Endowment and LSC are serving where the need is greatest.”
Based in Charlotte and established in 1924 by industrialist and philanthropist James B. Duke, The Duke Endowment is a private foundation that strengthens communities in North Carolina and South Carolina by nurturing children, promoting health, educating minds and enriching spirits. Since its founding, it has distributed more than $4 billion in grants. The Endowment shares a name with Duke University and Duke Energy, but all are separate organizations.