A Mentoring Program for Foster and Adopted Children
As of March, 2019, more than 200 children in daily foster care in Carroll County and 75 children in Haralson County. These children are at a higher risk of becoming incarcerated, pregnant, addicted to drugs, and dependents of state benefits. These children, unfortunately, repeat the cycle of their parents, and we see their children enter the system as well. Ending this treacherous cycle begins with each individual child. Meeting them where they are at, understanding their experience, and developing their self worth, sense of purpose, decision making, executive functioning and self regulations skills. The full Stable Moments™ program is a 10-month, weekly mentorship program where foster and adopted children achieve individualized life goals through Equine Assisted Learning (EAL).
The $1,690 per child cost goes to paying for the cost of training the mentor, supplies for the activities each child completes, and gas cards for the families to get to the farm. WEST is choosing to start with a 26-week pilot program so that we make sure we are implementing the program properly. We are recruiting seven foster and/or adopted children to participate in Spring, 2020. Nine adult mentors are being recruited to complete the mentor training. We have a donor who has committed to sponsoring one child in the pilot program. We need to cover six more children.
No Cost to Families:
Many people do not know that foster parents very often pay for a lot of services out of pocket because Amerigroup, the Medicaid insurance program that covers foster children limits the number of times a child can use services or the service is simply not covered. Even though equine assisted activities and therapies are highly documented to be one of the most effective interventions for foster children, Amerigroup does not cover equine-assisted therapies. Often, these costs exceed the amount the state may pay the foster parent for care of the child. Foster children often have two to four therapy/doctor appointments per week. Foster parents often sacrifice their work hours to take the child to all the various places, resulting in decreased paychecks. WEST is seeking donors to provide services to these families at no cost to them.
The model utilizes volunteer mentors to facilitate EAL sessions. Bringing horses and these children together, in a one-on-one mentorship program allows the child to build life skills that will aid them in transitioning into a healthy adulthood. By equipping youth in foster care with the life skills necessary to make healthy transitions into adulthood, we start to see a generation of foster children who are productive members of society, reducing rates of incarceration, addiction, early pregnancies, dependency on government benefits and ultimately a reduction of the amount of children entering the system. We envision a world where every child has a place to belong!
Mentor Training Dates
Introduction to Mentoring at The Shed at Westover Farms, 5:30 - 7:30P
September 10, 2019 and September 24, 2019
Mentoring Village Mental Health Training
Two sets of dates are required.
October 1, 3 hours/October 15, 2 hours
October 22, 3 hours/October 29, 2 hours
Horsemanship Training at WEST
November 5, 5:00P - 7:00P