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Antonia Batton gave birth to her son, Kaysen, on Dec. 21, 2013. At the time pregnant and homeless, she came to Promise House’s Wesley Inn in August after her mom kicked her out of the house. (Nanette Light/Staff)

Promise House, an organization that helps homeless, runaway and at-risk youth, today announced it will launch a new foster care program in July to support homeless and transitioning youth in Dallas-Fort Worth.

In Texas, more than 28,000 children are in foster care; 10,768 of these children are waiting for adoptive families, according to The Texas Adoption Resource Exchange (TARE). Promise House’s foster care program joins the organization’s seven existing programs serving youth ages 6 to 24, including emergency shelter; transitional living; pregnant and parenting teen services; individual, group and family counseling; street outreach; and education intervention. The primary focus for Promise House’s foster care program will be serving the youth within the programs of Promise House. However, the organization also will work with Child Protective Services to place other children in need of foster families.

“Our mission since 1984 has been to end youth homelessness in the Dallas community, and we see the addition of the foster care program as another means toward ending this cycle,” said Dr. Harriet Boorhem, president of Promise House. “National statistics show that three out of 10 homeless adults were in the foster care system as youth. Our goal is to find families that can provide safe, nurturing homes for our youth. Combined with our transitional living services, these youth will be better prepared as they age out of custodial care and less likely to become homeless or struggle with other challenges common among those who grow up in ‘the system.’”

The new foster care program will be led by Regina Levine, vice president of programs at Promise House, who has been with the organization for 11 years. Promise House also will work with AmeriCorps Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA) to implement the foster care program. Two VISTAs will be part of the program during its initial rollout starting in July.           

“Every child deserves a safe and loving home, along with a supportive family who will help them succeed,” Levine said. “Within our new foster care program, Promise House will provide streamlined services and support for transitioning youth, as well as training and placement support for their new foster families.” 

The organization is actively seeking foster parents interested in participating in the new program. For more information about the foster care program and to apply, please call 214-941-8578 or visit www.promisehouse.org

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