We ARE… The Best Kept Secret in Buncombe County
“CARING for Children’s Board of Directors, not to mention the Development Director, frequently lament that CARING for
Children is “the best kept secret in Buncombe County.” And, from a fund raising and general publicity perspective there is some truth to the sentiment. However, from the perspective of children and families who need help as well as people who work to help them, CARING for Children is a well-known community resource. That CARING is a well-known and valued community resource is apparent from the fact that the number of children and families we served increased 53% from 465 in fiscal year 2010 – 2011 to 710 in fiscal year 2011 – 2012.
Why the dramatic increase in the number of clients?
Rest assured that CARING for Children did not intentionally increase our advertising to become more well-known to children and families in need. It appears that the reason for the increase in clients is on-going system change in North Carolina. Economic conditions over the past several years have resulted in a number of agencies like CARING either closing their doors or merging with much larger agencies that provide services across the state. As that happens, corporate concerns and resource allocation issues can tend to compete with the concerns of children and families.
All of the growth CARING’s client base came from Buncombe and the immediate surrounding counties. The growth resulted in part from increased numbers of families that could not find help elsewhere. And, we hope, from the fact that children and families as well as the professional community in Buncombe County recognize that CARING for Children continues to do everything we can to help people in need without regard to how the service is paid for. CARING for Children remains committed to the idea that locally based and locally controlled agencies can provide services that are at least as, and possibly more, effective than the large “too big to fail” statewide agencies. We believe that keeping children close to home and keeping families together by providing community-based services is a valuable goal.
Keeping things close to home seems to be working for Vicky just one CARING’s 710 clients last year. Vicky came to Trinity Place to escape an abusive father. Vicky’s mother loved her and wanted to care for her but had her own mental health issues that prevented her from doing so. Vicky went from Trinity Place to CARING for Children’s Therapeutic Foster Care program. She also began receiving psychiatric and psychotherapy help through CARING for Children’s ACE program. Vicky will soon be adopted by her Therapeutic Foster Parents. Vicky’s mother has also been getting help and remains closely connected to both Vicky and Vicky’s foster family.
As always in our efforts to help as many children and families in need as possible, CARING for Children was the recipient of a great deal of community support. And, as always, we will need a great deal of community support again this year. So we hope that with each passing year, CARING is becoming a little less of a secret. And, if you have the chance to spread the word, we would appreciate it.