There are close to 600 children in foster care in Charlotte NC. These children often come into care with little notice and few belongings, and it is the foster family’s role to supply these children with everything they need, both emotionally and physically. However, there is a consistent gap of support services causing more trauma to the children and families. That’s where Foster Village Charlotte makes an impact!
Our friends at Springdale Custom Builders recently brought to our attention their work with Foster Village Charlotte (FVC). FVC was founded by four foster parents that were experiencing isolation and a lack of support in their own fostering journey. In 2018, Charlotte became the first official affiliate of Foster Village Inc. What began as an all-volunteer grassroots effort quickly grew into a foster care movement, with demand for services outpacing the group’s ability to meet them.
Since FVC came on the scene, over 2,300 children have been served. the group has provided over $250,000 in direct support for children and foster families.
We spoke with Charlotte co-founder Becky Santoro about FVC and their overarching mission.
Keep reading for more information on upcoming events, and ways you can get involved!
Tell us about the mission of Foster Village and how it aids foster care in Charlotte NC.
Foster Village Charlotte creates connection with dignity for children and families experiencing foster care by meeting urgent needs, providing educational and emotional support, and advocating as a collective community voice for children. Our vision is a strong support system surrounding every resilient child in foster care. We believe that strengthening the families and systems that surround a child experiencing foster care leads to a resilient next generation that breaks the cycle of childhood adversity.
You recently expanded, how many resource centers are there now? Tell us about that expansion.
In August 2019, FVC secured a home-like resource center off of Monroe Rd. in the Oakhurst neighborhood. This location housed our welcome pack program, office, kid space, and support group meeting area. Soon after moving in, it was clear that more and more foster families were looking for support and our space was already getting small.
During the pandemic, FVC switched to virtual offerings and found even more foster families looking for support. After a year of searching, FVC noticed that the home-like office next door was available for rent. So, we secured it as our secondary location creating a hub! family visitations with biological families working to reunify happen at our original center. It also is our childcare space when families are in support groups. Our new center now houses our support group space, office, and welcome pack program! You can see a 5 minute video about our expansion here.
How can people in Charlotte get involved with Foster Village? – Foster Care in Charlotte NC
These are ways to get involved at Foster Village.
- Follow and share our content on social media: build awareness and debunk foster care myths
- Invite YOUR village: forward our newsletter. invite a friend to an awareness event. ask others to join you in your action steps.
- Join our Village Partner Community: monthly donors that stabilize and deepen our programs
- Make freezer meals: add family-sized meals to our deep freezer
- Shop ongoing needs: The Amazon Wish List has the most pressing needs. They are delivered right to us!
- Become a volunteer: deliver welcome packs, provide childcare, and help keep our HUB looking nice
What is an event/moment in the last year that has really stood out to you?
Our Grand Opening and Ribbon Cutting event was one of the highlights of our year. We saw so many people come out to celebrate our expansion and it felt so beautiful to be together. FVC created different buttons to represent different roles within the village (volunteer, donor, advocate, fundraiser, foster parent, social worker, etc.) and it was so cool to see everyone sporting their “flare!”
Tell us about the peer-to-peer campaign that is starting in November. – Foster Care in Charlotte NC
Foster the Movement is an annual fall campaign kicking off this November through Giving Tuesday. The campaign invites all of us to engage the people in our lives to raise funds and awareness to support this mission and vision of Foster Village Charlotte! We make it really easy and fun with everything they need including graphics, short videos, quotes, and a community fundraising page! We ask participants to boldly commit to raising at least $500 with a goal of raising $80,000. Below is how these amounts will affect Foster Village Charlotte directly and allow us to serve our community:
If every person raises $500, Our village is able to create a home-like environment that…
Equips caregivers with necessities and resources. These resources include Welcome Packs, carseats and sensory tools so they can focus on helping the children in their care thrive.
If every person raises $800- Our village is able to create a home-like environment that…
Connects more caregivers together through educational and emotional support. This includes support groups, one-on-one calls, trainings, mentorship and family gatherings so that caregivers are strengthened and empowered to continue fostering.
If every person raises $1,000- Our village is able to create a home-like environment that…
Advocates for a sacred space for biological family visitations, tangible support during reunification, and ongoing, committed relationships between birth parents and foster parents bringing dignity to the children and families we serve.
Tell us about the upcoming event at Supperland on December 8th, in part sponsored by Springdale Custom Builders.
The award-winning restaurant Supperland will hold our first annual celebration luncheon and experience-based silent auction. It is going to be very special and different. the environment at Supperland really lends itself to the beauty that surrounds us, and the community that surrounds Foster Village Charlotte. The proceeds from this event will continue to support the very specialized programming provided by FVC to children and families experiencing foster care. On average, it takes $1,000/year to support one family.
Presenting Sponsor: Anonymous Foundation; Gold Sponsor: InFocus Foundation; Silver Sponsors: Mood House, Stifel Investment Svcs, Parker and Poe, Stonebridge First Financial; Individual Sponsors: Springdale Custom Builders, Georgia Street Design
Tickets are limited, but can be purchased here: https://givebutter.com/c/fosterthemovementluncheon or via our website at www.fostervillagecharlotte.org/foster-the-movement-luncheon
In partnership with Springdale and Foster Village Charlotte in support of foster care in Charlotte NC.