Good Samaritan: Duke Endowment Weighs in to Help NC Children in Crisis

childrenChildren’s Home Society will receive support from a long-term ally to help scale up proven programs to battle North Carolina’s foster care crisis. Among a growing list of concerned organizations and individuals, The Duke Endowment announced a 4-year, $3.7-million grant to expand foster care, early intervention, and prevention services across the state.

“James B. Duke set a course for his philanthropy to enrich lives in a multitude of ways across North and South Carolina,” said Phil Redmond, Jr., Director of The Duke Endowment’s Child Care program area. “Today, we continue our journey together with Children’s Home Society of North Carolina to help vulnerable children lead more successful lives.”

According to Brian Maness, President and CEO of Children’s Home Society of North Carolina, foster care is in a state of crisis, increasing every month in 2016 compared to the same period in the prior year.

At the end of 2016, there were 10,524 children in foster care with about 2,400 children eligible for adoption.

“Last year, we were able to place only 12 percent of the children referred to us,” said Maness. “We need to increase public awareness of the foster care crisis and expand our capacity of adoptive and foster homes for children.”

Committed to reversing these negative trends, the leadership and board of Children’s Home Society – North Carolina’s largest provider of foster care and adoption services – launched the Promise of Familycampaign, teaming resources from foundations, companies, organizations, families and individuals to expand and accelerate proven programs for vulnerable children.

“A child without a family is unacceptable,” said Maness. “Every child deserves a loving, safe, and permanent home.”

According to Maness, the relationship between the Duke family and Children’s Home Society of North Carolina goes back to 1902, when Benjamin Duke, the brother of James Buchanan Duke, founder of The Duke Endowment, was on the founding CHS board.

“One hundred fifteen years later,” said Maness, “Children’s Home Society’s core mission of promoting a loving, safe, and permanent family for every child has not changed.

The Duke Endowment, based in Charlotte, has distributed more than $3.3 billion in grants since its inception in 1924. The endowment’s work in North Carolina and South Carolina focuses on child care, health care, higher education, and rural United Methodist churches.

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