HOW IT ALL STARTED
The Welcome Home Foundation (WHF) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit foundation that was established by the Grau Family in 2017 with the desire to better the lives of children and youth in South Carolina, specifically those in the foster care system or kinship care placements.
After years of research and personal experience, the Welcome Home Foundation has worked with the SC State Director of DSS, Michael Leach, and his team to identify two prevalent challenges that children/youth removed from their parent/guardians experience.
Children/Youth, removed from caregivers, spend full days inside the DSS Office while awaiting placement
with little interaction and engagement during the worst days of their lives.
When there is a gap in placements or a child/youth is awaiting placement, the child/youth often spends the night sleeping on floors at the DSS Office due to a lack of availability of Emergency Care Foster Homes that provide nightly respite shelter and care, specifically teenagers.
A generous donor has deeded two separate residential properties to the WHF.
1) The DAY HOUSE
2) The EMERGENCY HOUSE
THE DAY HOUSE
The Day House will utilized as a day time space for children/youth to rest and relax while they await their temporary placement and provide a functional workspace for the DSS Caseworker to remain onsite while finding the placement. The house is thoughtfully curated for safety and comfort both for the child/youth and the DSS Caseworker.
Having a day time space for child/youth will help change the narrative of removal day from the worst day in a child’s life to a memorable day of being lavishly loved. The WHF will provide a stable day time environment where physical, emotional, and spiritual needs are met by loving and compassionate volunteers during this difficult life season. This effort will also give a variety of volunteers the opportunity to interact with children in care so that prayerfully, many individuals and families will decide to foster/adopt.
THE EMERGENCY HOUSE
The Emergency House is a licensed and approved foster care home that is used for temporary and emergency placements. This 4 bedroom/4 bathroom house is furnished to offer nighttime shelter for children/youth. The property is owned and operated by the WHF, but licensed foster parents, Drew & Summer Hankins, will live in this house and provide emergency care several nights each week.