Harper’s Home and The Department of Social Service’s need for temporary child care before foster placement

Published: Feb. 2, 2023 at 6:29 PM EST
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TAZEWELL, Va. (WVVA) - The Child Abuse Reporting and Enforcement Center of Southwest VA or CARE Center is a 501(c)3 non profit. It was created in 2019 to be a children’s advocacy center.

“We hope to give the children a place they can feel comforted and secure to talk about their story of victimization which is possible the worst story they will ever have to tell,” said the center’s director April Morefield at the opening ceremony for the center in 2019.

The center came to fruition with $200,000 of financing by the Elgin Children’s Foundation. Along with the donation of their building provided by a local church . The center serves three counties:  Russell, Buchanan and Tazewell Counties.

Last April, Governor Glenn Youngkin selected Morefield to be a member of the Safe and Sound Task Force.

 “This is a new taskforce just to help children who across the Commonwealth are sleeping in DSS agencies and ER’s,” Morefield said.

In a single six month period in 2021 163 children were reported to have slept in non-foster care facilities waiting for placement in the commonwealth.

“We’ve been fortunate here in Tazewell County that we have not had a child stay overnight. The way we have done business in the past is bringing a child directly here. Knowing that we have Harper’s Home as the first stop is just amazing to think about,” said David Taylor, Director of Tazewell County Department of Social Services

Taylor adds that children at Harper’s Home should always be under the supervision of a Social Services worker.

“Harper’s Home will be the place where when a child is removed from their home they will immediately come to Harper’s Home,” said Morefield.

Morefield adds the duration of children’s stays at the home will range between a few hours all the way up to three days depending on the need.

In January harper’s home received a $200,000 grant from the Shott Foundation to purchase a house for the organization. After two unsuccessful properties the CARE center continues their search for the perfect property.