The Refuge

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November 27, 2019
Scott and the surrounding counties in Southern Indiana have significant challenges affecting our children including the opioid epidemic. Children are being removed from harmful home situations in record numbers, most commonly due to substance misuse. For example, out-of-home placements escalated from 470 children in 2014 to 822 children by October of 2018 in Southern Indiana's Region 18 (Department of Child Services) which includes Scott County.
Forty-seven percent (47%) of these 822 children are currently placed out of their county of residence because options for out-of-home placements are very limited in our area. In Scott County, 212 children are in out-of-home placement
(October 2018). Locally, children are frequently faced with multiple short-term placements until a longer-term place-ment in foster care can be found. These transfer experiences compound the trauma for children and remove them from a community with which they are familiar.


The response ...
Our community has heard the cry of the children and the vision is to provide a safe haven and stable, loving environment for abused, neglected, and displaced children. A child should be provided the basic necessities and receive counseling, life skills training, resiliency development and access to education with all services wrapped in a trauma-informed care culture. The goal is to lessen the negative impact of childhood trauma so that the children and youth in our community have a greater probability for success. We can break the cycle of addiction, abuse, and poverty in our community and increase positive, lifelong outcomes.

Where we are now ...
Thanks to a planning grant from the Center for Congregations, funded by the Lilly Endowment, and a generous gift from Grace Covenant Church in Austin, we are in the process of building a facility in Austin, Indiana. The Refuge Home for Children will be a place of warmth, Christian love and comfort to meet the needs of children needing a temporary home. The Refuge is a non-profit organization governed by a community board. The community board for The Refuge will provide guidance, direction and financial oversight.
Many times, children have to be removed from their homes while their parents work to gain and maintain a healthy drug-free lifestyle. Being removed from the home is an incredibly traumatic experience for every child. The trauma is compounded when a local placement can't be found and the child has to be placed outside his or her community. The separation severs important bonds the child has formed with school personnel, friends, or relatives.
The Refuge was formed to give hope to these children and their families by providing immediate trauma-informed care for displaced children. The long-term plans include foster care placement, foster parent care and support, youth and family enrichment services and family reunification support. Floor plans have been prepared and approved. The Indiana state licensure and contract application process has been initiated. Our goal is to begin serving children in 2019, and they need your financial support to build The Refuge.

The Building Campaign for the Refuge $650,000 Construction Costs
We ask that you consider how you can be part of this opportunity to join together as a community to provide crisis intervention and compassionate care for a child in critical need.

We ask that you consider how you can be part of this opportunity to join together as a community to provide crisis intervention and compassionate care for a child in critical need.

Board of Directors
Steve Gwaltney; Tinisha Bowles-Densford; Chris Routt; Christa West; Marc Slaton; Al Riggle; Berley Goodin; Jamie Raichel; Rick Burns; Pam Gwaltney; Cindy Watts