WAMPSVILLE — There are times when young people need help to work through challenges in their lives and feel as if there is no one to go to for support, especially when the situation involves difficulties with their home situation.
Frequently, the youths only need a short time with an interim family to provide them time to regroup while waiting to be resettled into a permanent safe home, say officials with the Madison County Department of Social Services, who add that very often these youths are misunderstood, afraid, alone, and expected to care for themselves.
With help, the youth can get a fresh perspective on life and develop the skills needed to become productive members of society.
People interested in becoming an interim family home can receive training to be certified by Madison County DSS for placements typically lasting less than 60 days. Participants will be provided with training on youth development, daily stipends for housing a youth, and daily contact with program staff when a youth is placed with you.
To qualify, a person needs to be 21 years or older, in good health, able to pass a background check, and able to provide a safe home for a youth in need.
This program is completely voluntary for the youths. If a youth does not want to stay or follow house rules, they will not be allowed to stay in the program, say Madison County officials.
The goal of this program is to help prevent youths from being homeless, reunite families, provide referrals to appropriate community-based services, and to offer interim family placement for a youth who does not have a safe option.
Madison County’s 24-hour crisis intervention and response is available for youths in the program as well as for supporting the needs of interim families.
Those interested in helping a youth by becoming a certified interim family home for Madison County Department of Social Services, A Place for Me (Runaway and Homeless and Youth Program) can call 315-366-2548 for more information.