An inspiring story from Florida about a young woman who aged-out of the foster care system:

Worrisome new data on child abuse in Asheville and Buncombe County highlights the importance of what Guardians do:

Grants at Work: Helping children and Families Through This Difficult Time.

The Guardian ad Litem Association of Buncombe County (GALABC) received several generous grants in the first six months of 2020 for use in a range of programs to benefit at-risk children currently in the county’s social service system.

“We are delighted that so many regional organizations are supporting our efforts to help our children during these difficult times.” said GALABC Program Manager, Jean Brooks. “We urge Guardians to contact us if help for the children in their care is needed.”

• The People in Need Grant through the Community Foundation of Western North Carolina (CFWNC) has provided much-needed financial support for at-risk children living with relative caregivers during this economic crisis caused by COVID-19. Relatives who take in children in the protective care of the Buncombe County Department of Social services receive minimal support from the State, unlike the stipends received by foster parents. Often, it is the grandparents living on fixed incomes who are caring for their grandchildren. More than 60 children have received funds through this program. In addition, the People in Need Grant has helped numerous young adults in the LINKS program when state program suffered from insufficient funds, providing things like clothing for a new job and a refurbished computer to use at school.

• GALABC also received a grant from the Walnut Cove Members Association to pay for camp fees for this summer. So far 13 children are attending camps using these designated funds. Needless to say, COVID-19 has shuttered many camps for the summer, but as more day camps open, we anticipate more children going to camp using these funds.

• The Black Mountain-Swannanoa Endowment Fund through the CFWNC is used for educational items, clothing, camps, and entertainment for children in the Black Mountain and Swannanoa zip codes. One goal of GALABC is to try to normalize the life of a child in foster care when they already feel stigmatized.

• The WNC Bridge Foundation Community Outreach COVID-19 Grant provides GALABC with more funds to address the economic crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic. So many people in our community have lost jobs and are struggling to pay for food, rent and other necessities. The funds from this generous grant will enable GALABC to relieve some of the stress experienced by many of our foster and caregiver families.

GALABC is grateful to the grantors who have stepped up to help us serve the needs of these vulnerable children in our communities.