WHITESTOWN, Ind. — A new home for children as they transition to foster care broke ground in Boone County on Tuesday. Its goal is to help reduce trauma for children as they enter the foster system.
The nonprofit group Isaiah 117 House is setting up shop in Whitestown. The transitional home will serve all of Boone County along with foster children in Hendricks, Montgomery, Marion and Hamilton counties.
Tom Hundley is a chairperson for the nonprofit. He explained that when children are removed from their home they're usually brought to a Department of Child Services office to await placement with a foster family and this wait can take anywhere between several hours to several days.
"These children often have nothing with them and are scared, lonely, hungry, dirty and in desperate need of love and support," Hundley said. "The case manager might not have a choice but let a child sleep in the conference room or cubicle, try to entertain them with Netflix on their phone, or even bathe a baby in a sink at the office."
He said this is where Isiah 117 House steps in to provide a comforting home where children can instead be brought to wait.
"... Isaiah117 steps in to let children know they are loved, and they did nothing wrong on this traumatic day," Hundley said.
The home will have volunteers there to provide kids with clean clothes, toys, food, and "a little bit of comfort on their worst day," Hundley said.
While the children are at the house being provided with much-needed comfort and care, child welfare staff can do the necessary paperwork and identify a foster placement.
Hundley said the nonprofit is trying to lighten the load for child welfare services and ease the transition for new foster families.
The groundbreaking happened Tuesday and the goal is to have the home ready to open by mid to late winter. Earlier this summer the nonprofit also started renovating a home in Indianapolis to transform it into another transitional center.