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Who We Are and What We Do

Above the Line is a non-profit dedicated to providing housing, education, placement and other vital services to at-risk children and youth. Through Homes for Kids, our Foster Family Agency, we offer treatment foster care programs serving infants, toddlers and youth up to eighteen years of age. Homes for Kids works with placing agencies, therapists, foster and biological parents to provide services which promote the healthy development of its clients. The goal of the program is to provide children with caring foster homes that:
• Promote personal growth and increased self-esteem, coupled with academic achievement
• Develop communication and socialization skills
• Provide contact with biological parents, if appropriate
• Develop independent living skills for adolescents
• Support reunification with families or adoption.

Above the Line social workers collaborate with county placement workers to select the foster family home which best matches the needs of the child. Homes for Kids provide a treatment team approach to help bring about a smooth and successful transition into foster care. Services to counties include:
• Pre-placement services
• Comprehensive initial evaluations and quarterly reports
• Case management for children provided by qualified staff
• Social workers experienced with high-risk youth
• In-depth family home studies
• Licensed and license-qualified therapists.

Program Services for Counties

Above the Line strives to create stable foster homes for children in placement by providing extensive support to foster parents and children through the following services:
• Weekly check-ins with foster parents
• On-going emotional support and encouragement for foster parents
• When appropriate, weekly therapy with the foster children to help them adjust to foster care and to continue their personal growth
• 24-hour on-call crisis support
• Individualized treatment plans
• Assistance in finding and coordinating other services needed for the foster child
• Pre-certification and ongoing training
• Case management of school, job and medical needs for foster child.
• We endeavor to match the foster family with the needs of the foster children.

 

Eric

Eric*, now 16, has been in foster care since he was five years old due to his mother being unable to provide a stable home for him. As a young boy he had limited opportunities to socialize with other children and was not exposed to many activities outside his home. This led to his feeling tentative about trying new experiences and to his lacking confidence in being able to meet challenges. In order to support building his self-confidence and reliability skills, he was offered the opportunity to participate in a week-long wilderness camp where he was required to learn survival skills similar to what many boys learn in Boy Scouts. He also learned about nature and animal life in the wilderness. When he returned, his foster mother noticed a leap in his maturity which was evidenced by his taking more responsibility for his possessions, becoming more organized and, generally, becoming more responsible. He is more willing to try new experiences and is confident that he can master a variety of tasks. His success at wilderness camp has translated into tangible life skills development and he is looking forward to another camp experience later this year.

*The names of the children have been changed to protect confidentiality.

Jennifer

Jennifer* who came into foster care at age 9 was very successful in her foster home and earned high marks at school.When she was returned to her birth mother in the 6th grade her grades went downhill when she felt her needs not being met. A year later, the courts returned her to her foster home and, after a period of adjustment where she dealt with her angry feelings, she was able to bring her grades back up to a high level. She has bonded with her foster mother and siblings and is now very motivated to excel at a variety of activities from sports to creative endeavors for which she has passion. During her first stay with her foster parent she was too fearful to engage in activities that took her away from home, such as overnight camp, but she has matured and gained the confidence to try new things and is delighted by experiences that would have been scary to her in the past. Her loving relationship with her foster family has allowed her to develop into a happy 15 year-old girl who welcomes opportunities to try new things.

*The names of the children have been changed to protect confidentiality.

Jose & Martin

Jose and Martin*, ages 4 and five, were referred to Above the Line-Homes for Kids due to extreme neglect. Their father was in prison due to domestic violence and their mother was unable to provide even basic care for them. They arrived at their new foster home with speech deficits, severe dental and vision problems and had experienced little socialization. They fought constantly and were unable to communicate their needs in appropriate ways at school or at home. Their foster parents, through providing safety, structure, nurturance and tutoring, were able to assist Jose and Martin in the development of social skills, improved academic achievement and behavior control as well as meeting all their health needs. Both boys are now thriving at school and are able to engage in a variety of activities in socially appropriate ways. Their speech and language skills have also improved tremendously. The foster parents are mentoring the boys’ birth mother to assist her in achieving the standard of parenting required for her to have children returned to her.

*The names of the children have been changed to protect confidentiality.

Grace

Grace *, age 4, had been found in a play pen in a garage
in squalid conditions when she was a one year old. She suffered developmental delays and barely spoke or smiled due to lack of parental interaction. She was placed in one of our treatment foster homes with two parents who focused their attention on addressing her developmental needs and who offered her a nurturing and stimulating environment. While in their care she progressed dramatically in her speech, motor skills and social relations. She is now a happy, healthy little girl. Recently, Grace was adopted by this family and they are in the process of adopting her baby sister.

*The names of the children have been changed to protect confidentiality.