Looking for A Few Good Families

hope-hill-2More than 7,000 children in Kentucky need foster care – and Seth Krusich, executive director of Hope Hill Therapeutic Foster Care in Mt. Sterling, knows the anguish behind the statistics.

Most of these children have been removed from homes where they were abused, neglected or their parents are unfit to care for them.

Not surprisingly, these children have suffered loss and separation far beyond the norm.

“There is a real need for people to open their hearts and their homes to these kids,” Krusich said.

“There are so many kids out there who are hurting. They’ve been robbed of normal lives.”

Hope Hill is a faith-based, non-profit agency that helps find homes for the state’s neediest children, including kids who have suffered neglect, trauma, abuse, failed placements and legal charges.

Krusich is looking for more families who can help, but he understands that this is a difficult road to travel.

Krusich assures families that they will not travel that road alone.

Hope Hill provides support services to help develop successful foster families.

The support starts with 36 hours of pre-service training. Prospective foster parents learn how kids come into the system and how it works.

They learn about loss and separation, how to build and maintain communication, how to help kids express their needs and how to build a support system for the foster family.

Once a family has received training and a child comes to live with them – whether short or long-term – Hope Hill provides therapeutic services, medication management services and 24/7 case managers.

Foster parents also receive funding per diem to help with food, clothing, hygiene and other childcare costs.

Each child also has a medical card to pay for health care.

In addition, families receive support from other foster families in the Hope Hill system. They meet once a month at the Hope Hill Children’s Home in Mt. Sterling to share a meal and learn strategies from a trainer.

“This is a chance for the families to support and help each other,” Krusich said.

What sorts of families volunteer for this difficult but rewarding job?

According to Krusich, many of them are empty-nesters who miss having kids at home, or younger couples who are unable to have children or who have yet to start a family.

The most important trait is having a calling to foster care.

“It starts with the families,” Krusich said. “They are the kind of people who stick by someone when things get tough.”

Families who take in one child often feel called to take in more.

Some of Hope Hill’s families have taken in up to 50 children over the years.

Krusich recommends the work because the rewards are great.

Said Krusich: “It’s extremely rewarding to make a lasting impact on a child.”

If you would like to make a difference in the life of a needy child, contact Hope Hill at (859) 498-0373 or www.familyconnectioninc.com