Nov. 14, 2012
Older foster kids get the support they deserve
-- New Life Village, an intergenerational community designed to provide the kind of support for families who have adopted the least wanted kids out of foster care (kids age 8 and older, and sibling groups) that is not found through the traditional system, opened its gates and is about to finalize the selection of the first adoptive families to live there.
The Village is modeled on the award-winning, highly successful Generations of Hope (generationsofhope.org)
Program out of IL, in this case providing a townhome community where the families provide emotional support to each other but also get support from seniors who volunteer as the families' surrogate grandparents (the "intergenerational"
aspect), and all residents are assisted by a small team of highly qualified staff. The concept is as simple as it is innovative: creating the perfect environment where these hurting children, many who have been languishing in foster care for years, can find love, stability, and permanency.
The entity distinguishes itself further in that it is not a "residential social service program" in the traditional sense. Residents pay rent (affordable so lower-income families and seniors can benefit), families and seniors live their lives like anyone else (children go to the local school, parents work, seniors enjoy their retirement), so the community is like any other in the area....with one important exception; it is designed to make sure these former foster children and their families get a level of emotional, social, and professional assistance not available to them if they lived elsewhere.
For more information on this unique program, go to http://newlifevillage.org