Authored by: Teresa Cocker, Chief Program Officer
On October 30, 2017, Norris received their Child Placing Agency license allowing them to recruit, license and train foster parents, and place and provide treatment to foster children. The application process began in July when Norris submitted an application and supporting documents to the Department of Children and Families. The name of the therapeutic foster care program is Beyond Fostering. Norris believes that positive, lifelong impact occurs when foster parents not only provide care for the child in their home, but focus on creating relationships with the children’s family with the goal of sustaining change - Beyond Fostering. Staff of the Beyond Fostering program will be at community events in southeastern Wisconsin providing information about the program and asking families to make a connection with a foster child and that child’s family by applying to become a licensed foster parent. Norris has established a goal of licensing five new therapeutic foster families in 2018.
There are over 400,000 children in foster care in the United States and approximately 7,000 children in foster care in Wisconsin. There is a particular high need for foster families who can accept brothers and sisters, older youth and children with complex needs. Norris has received statements of support from counties in southeastern Wisconsin in pursuing this programming. Kathy Mullooly, Intake and Support Services Division Manager for Waukesha County Department of Health and Human Services, reports that there has been “a 57% increase in the number of youth placed in out of home care in Waukesha County in the last two years. We attribute much of this increase to the opioid epidemic. Theses youth have a variety of trauma experiences and special needs. The need of a loving stable home is what they all have in common. Norris is striving to recruit local treatment foster homes to provide stability to them. This will help us to keep our youth local and connected to their families and community.” Norris is working to meet this need by engaging with the community and licensing five new therapeutic foster families in 2018.
Norris strives to become the premier provider not only for treatment and educational services, but also as a resource and asset to the larger community and an advocate for children and families everywhere. To learn more about Norris and the Beyond Fostering Therapeutic Foster Care Program, visit www.norriscenter.org, email email@example.com or call 262-222-2000. Connecting Families, Changing Lives. Connections Matter.