We often hear stories about child protective services and the lack of adequate funding, shortage of social workers, and the unfortunate gaps that children in the system face. Since it’s mostly the horror stories that reach that news, it’s always good to hear about something that’s happened, especially when it affects the lives of those who are the most vulnerable.
In Bloomington, good news comes in the form of a $500,000 grant that will help to expand accessibility to the Children’s Home and Aid Family Visitation Center. This Justice for Families Program Grant is being given by the Department of Justice’s on Violence Against Woman.
Funding for this grant is earmarked to expand access to the Children’s Home and Aid Family Visitation Center to multiple counties. Currently only residents of Mclean County have access to the center. The current functions of the center are to facilitate family visitation in a comfortable setting that are both child-friendly and nurturing to allow for both children and their families to feel safe and secure during these visits.
With this grant, families from Ford County, Livingston County Logan County and Woodford County, all counties in Illinois, will be able to participate as well. This thereby gives more families the ability to have visitations in an environment that has critical safety protocols in place for family visitation.
According to Children’s Home & Aid Family Support Services director Tiffany Powell this will allow for the center to go from serving seven families in McLean County to serving over thirty five. That’s twenty eight more families that will be have access to this center that provides such important community services.
The grant money will serve another function as well, to train providers who work with survivors of sexual abuse, physical abuse, and domestic violence. The training will include judges, lawyers, and any other community member that generally works with people who have experienced these forms of abuse.