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Local grant helps establish program to support families in crisis

Safe Families for Children in La Crosse will be housed in the Family & Children's Center on Main Street.
Safe Families for Children in La Crosse will be housed in the Family & Children's Center on Main Street.(WEAU)
Published: Jul. 22, 2020 at 5:58 PM CDT
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LA CROSSE, Wis. (WEAU) -

A new program looking to support area families in crisis is coming to La Crosse.

A $58,000 grant from the La Crosse Community Foundation is funding a Safe Families for Children location.

Safe Families is a national organization that’s been in eastern Wisconsin counties since 2012.

The program is a voluntary intervention program that looks to reunify families faster and prevent the need for foster care.

“A lot of people don’t know this, but foster care can not get involved until abuse or neglect is substantiated and so that means harm has already taken place,” explained Nicole Zorn, the Safe Families for Children state director. “What Safe Families has the privilege of doing is working upstream of that and saying we don’t need to wait for bad things to happen.”

Safe Families for Children says La Crosse County faces a 40-home gap between the number of children who need foster care and the number of homes available.

Safe Families provides temporary out-of-home care for children along with mentoring, support, and resources for parents.

The organization says the pandemic can be difficult as Safe Families is working against isolation, something prevalent recently.

“You’ll remember back in March, we had a mandate to stay home and to isolate and so it does create concerns because kids aren’t being seen,” Zorn said. “There’s a lot more stress in homes for some families right now.”

All family hosts and volunteers complete an application and thorough screening process.

To learn more, click here.

Copyright 2020 WEAU. All rights reserved.

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