Crossnore Bridging Families

(May 2023) Crossnore Communities for Children (Crossnore) was awarded a $20,000 Human Services grant to support the Bridging Families program in Avery County. Bridging Families is a professional foster parenting program that supports families while children are in Crossnore’s care and addresses the growing number of children entering the foster care system.

Crossnore hires full-time employees, trained in trauma-informed care, who care for a sibling set and work with the parents on a reunification plan. While children live in a Crossnore home, the Bridge Parents help birth parents nurture and grow family relationships through targeted therapeutic and skill-building interventions. Families receive professional mental and medical health services, case management, educational assistance, recreational opportunities and support networks. The program reimagines and enhances family visitation, which often takes place in a clinical setting.

With state approval and families progressing toward reunification, Bridging Families program is expanding to address the growing number of children entering the system. Today, there are four Bridging Families cottages on the Avery Campus.

In December 2022, Crossnore received a $110K grant from Dogwood Health Trust to support the first Bridging Families community home in partnership with Saluda United Methodist Church in Polk County. The church owns the home, and Crossnore will provide the Bridging Families staff and expertise. Another community partnership is in development with Homes for Youth, a nonprofit that provides housing for homeless youth in Henderson County and keeps the teens in their communities.

“My hope and vision is that we find partners who help build community around these families and create the circumstances that allow for healthy futures,” said Tanya Blackford, Executive Director of Crossnore’s Western Region.

Crossnore has a long history of serving youth in the child welfare system as well as those transitioning out or at risk of entering the system. It offers a full continuum of services to meet the clinical, medical, physical, and spiritual needs of each child. With a host of community partners, including multiple DSS agencies, schools, churches, and other nonprofits, Crossnore is a critical partner and regional leader providing essential holistic child welfare services.