HFY Launches Project 21
Hope For Youth announces the launch of Project 21 designed to increase foster bed capacity and ensure that every youth in care has a home to come back to after a long day. Under the Family First Prevention Service Act, states must decrease the number of youths in congregate care and increase the percentage of kinship foster homes. This law is the most transformative legislation to impact child welfare financing and programs in ages.
The goal of Project 21 is to increase the number of therapeutic foster families certified with HFY. The increase in therapeutic foster families will directly increase the number of beds available for youth in care. With private funding through the Redlich Horowitz Foundation, HFY has acquired software that will streamline the recruiting, licensing, and training process for all foster parents in Suffolk County, New York. This new software will make it easier for Suffolk County residents to apply to become a foster parent through an automated digital process.
Right now, there is a national foster family shortage. In New York State, there has been about a 10% decrease in foster beds available from 2019 to 2021. At HFY, there has been about a 30% increase in number of youth in care. The COVID-19 crisis has wreaked havoc on all aspects of our lives and put a further strain on the child welfare system. The decline in foster bed capacity was only accelerated by the pandemic as many potential foster families feared the enormous changes ahead and potential dangers occurring in our society.
HFY offers digital orientations the last Thursday of every month for those interested in learning more about the process of becoming a therapeutic foster parent. Individuals interested in additional information or in attending the orientation should contact, Tina Basile, Project 21 Coordinator at (631)782-6516.