Asheville, NC – CARING for Children and Eckerd Kids received a line item appropriation of $1.1 Million to expand the Angels Watch Program in four regions throughout North Carolina.
CARING for Children has operated the Angels Watch program for nearly 20 years and began in 1999 in partnership with the Junior League of Asheville. The program was funded through the United Way of Asheville and Buncombe County and private donations, serving about 20-25 families a year in Buncombe County. Now, thanks to funding from the North Carolina General Assembly, families across the state will have access to this program.
“Angels Watch works outside of the Department of Social Services custody to provide a safe, stable home to children whose families are amidst a crisis,” said Jennifer Stout Operations Director for Eckerd Kids. “The real power of the program is its preventative nature. Our local child welfare system is overwhelmed with 10,000 plus kids in care. Although Angels Watch uses licensed foster parents, the program gives parents and caregivers an alternative to becoming part of the child welfare system when families struggle to stay together.”
Angels Watch licenses and trains foster parents, under the direction of CARING for Children, to provide safe, stable short-term care for children ranging from 0-6 or sibling groups up to age 10, while parents address barriers that are keeping them from safely caring for their children. Foster parents work together with biological parents to help children understand and adapt, while a CARING for Children caseworker oversees the family dynamic and provides helpful resources to get the family back on track.
The Junior League of Asheville helped conceptualize the Angels Watch program and ultimately raised much-needed funds to help launch the program in North Carolina in 1999.
“Since the inception of the Angels Watch program in 1999, an expansion of the program has always been the Junior League of Asheville’s vision to help North Carolina’s children who need it most,” said Stacy Anderson of the Junior League of Asheville. “We are thrilled to see the program expand across the state and we hope that Angels Watch will provide help for families in crisis for years to come.