Mission and Brief History of the Organization
The mission of Hearts and Homes is to provide critical support services to families who currently have children in foster, kinship, or dual custody care by providing programs and training that aim to preserve and strengthen family ties.
Hearts and Homes began in 1990, providing support to foster parents of children who had been removed from their birth families because of abuse and neglect. While this function continues, a number of programs have been introduced over the years to meet changing needs. Clients are referred to Hearts and Homes by the Department of Public Health and Human Services’ Child Protection Services, the courts, family law practitioners and human service agencies. Self-referrals are also accepted.
Current services of Hearts and Homes include:
- A safe and supervised home-like location for families who have children in foster, kinship, or dual care to visit their children
- Parent assessment, education and skill development, with a customized course of instruction based on the Nurturing Parent Program®
- Workshops for parents experiencing divorce and separation, with a focus on children’s needs and co-parenting without conflict
- Crisis and respite care for kids, including support during medical emergencies, court appearances and crisis situations facing caregivers
- Supervised custody exchange in a neutral environment
- Practical support to foster families, including educational materials and loans of car seats and age-appropriate furnishings
- Intensive and individualized family support services to promote reunification of children with their parents.