Emergency Foster Care
When is a Child Sent to an Emergency Foster Family?
In urgent situations, where the court determines that children should be immediately removed from their parents’ home due to tangible danger to their lives, Orr Shalom places them in an alternative, safe and supervised framework that will provide them with temporary shelter. Orr Shalom’s emergency foster care families provide an immediate refuge for these children, who are aged from infancy to 6 years-old. They provide a safe roof over their heads, someone to protect them, hug them and care for them. These families have chosen to open their homes and their hearts and to provide a protective and loving refuge – at any time and under any circumstance.
How does the Emergency Foster Family System Work?
An emergency foster family is comprised of a wrap-around team: foster parents; a case manager; social workers who provide ongoing training and guidance for the foster family; developmental psychologists who diagnose the children; and, National Service volunteers who help the family provide the support, warmth and dedicated care the children need.
The emergency foster family system helps children rebuild confidence in adults and provides for all their physical and emotional needs. The dedicated professional team examines and diagnoses the child’s condition – including their emotional and medical needs – to ensure that the Welfare Department has the information it needs to identify the optimal framework for the child going forward. The children usually stay in this highly-protective, nurturing and guarded environment for three to six months.
Orr Shalom gives emergency foster families intensive guidance and professional support. Social workers provide individual and group counseling, therapy sessions with the children and child-parent interaction assessments. Developmental psychologists diagnose the children and speech therapists and occupational therapists are brought in, as needed. Moreover, National Service volunteers assist the families with childcare and arranging visitation with the biological parents. Together, Orr Shalom creates a far-reaching network of guidance and support, for both the children and foster families.
Today, Orr Shalom has eight emergency foster families on-call that care for 15-20 children at any given moment. These families provide an island of security and love for the traumatized children, giving them a chance to recover, overcome and begin a new chapter in their lives.
The intensive and critical work we do with these children – children who so desperately need our help – is supremely important. We invite you to join our emergency foster family community. Together, we can help the children have a better future for themselves.