B&GH launching Success Coach Family Reunification Pilot Program

February 10, 2020

Lake Waccamaw, NC – As part of an ongoing effort to serve children and families, Boys and Girls Homes of North Carolina is launching Success Coach focusing on family reunification and post adoption services.

This program is being supported by grants from the Cape Fear Memorial Foundation and the Duke Endowment.

“Our goal is to stop the revolving door through the child welfare system,” said Donna Yalch, vice president for community based services. “We are so grateful that we have the opportunity to offer this important service free to our community.”

Success Coach is a voluntary program to support children and families who have been reunited following DSS or Juvenile Justice mandated separation. The program also serves families that are in the process of reuniting, and families who might benefit from post adoption support. The program will work with families in the home to build skills in problem solving, self advocacy, and crisis management to prevent a return to the child welfare system.

A 2017 report by NC DHHS Child and Family Services Reviews (CFSR) indicated 59 percent of children and permanent families were not provided reunification services and the state was rated as “Area Needs Improvement.” The Duke Endowment funded a pilot project in Catawba County to improve child well-being after children are reunited with their families. This program strengthened participating families and reduced recidivism from the county average of 19 percent down to less than 5 percent.

“We are replicating Catawba County’s Success Coach Program,” said Ashlynn Campbell, program director. “We will provide an array of free voluntary services to children and their families when they leave temporary homes for permanent placement. This program will build stronger families and we expect it to benefit 60 to 90 families a year.”

There are only eight similar programs across the country, yet family reunification programs are widely recognized as a “promising practice” to prevent foster care re-entry and strengthen all participating families. Success Coaches will advocate for children and their families, connect families to community resources, help parents assess their children’s social and emotional needs, empower families to solve problems and resolve conflict, engage in skill building, support parents in meeting children’s educational needs, enhance parenting practices and provide crisis management services.

Although this is a new service for the area, referrals are already coming in.

“We have received really positive feedback from the meetings we’ve attended,” said Campbell. “We are starting to speak with Guardians Ad Litem and attorneys to make them aware of these services for their clients. It is truly a partnership that works to ensure a positive, long term impact on post-permanency stability and the overall wellbeing of children and families.”

This program is another step forward for the organization according to B&GH President Gary Faircloth.

“This is another example of how we are finding ways to serve the children and families now before us,” said Faircloth. “I appreciate the willingness of our team to continue to look at the needs in the larger child services community and find ways to provide for those needs.”

Over the past two years, B&GH has added two other community based programs to support the community. C.R.E.A.T.E. Hope provides therapy, treatment and advocacy services for child victims of crime or witnesses to crime and their non-offending caregivers free of charge. This year, Carolyn’s Kaleidoscope Child Advocacy Center will open in Whiteville to provide support, education and family centered services for child sexual assault victims and their non-offending caregiver. This program uses a multidisciplinary team model across multiple agencies with expertise in the investigation of child abuse allegations. The team develops a coordinated response for the victims and the community that is designed to enhance safety, to hold perpetrators accountable and to get justice for youth victims.

To request free assistance or learn more about Success Coach, contact Ashlynn Campbell at 910-625-4754 or ashlynn.campbell@bghnc.org.

About Boys and Girls Homes of North Carolina

Boys and Girls Homes of North Carolina, Inc., has been helping children since 1954. Since then, more than 7,500 children have benefitted from the services of the not-for-profit, 501(c)3 agency. Its mission is to provide a comprehensive array of services for children and youth who have been removed from their homes due to abuse, neglect or other family dysfunction. B&GH offers adoption, family and therapeutic foster care, free children’s therapy, as well as residential care on the campus at Lake Waccamaw. The campus features a SACS-accredited school with a middle and high school curriculum, vocational education, recreation facilities, farm, chapel and cottage life. As many as 320 vulnerable children are cared for through the residential, community-based services, and school program provided by B&GH at any given time. B&GH operates its program, services and activities in compliance with federal nondiscrimination laws. B&GH is nationally accredited by the Council on Accreditation.