Written by Ryan Martin
Wednesday, 02 October 2013 00:00
Photo Courtesy of The Baby Fold.
The Baby Fold is a Normal based organization offering a number of programs and services to children and families in a variety of ways.
“The Baby Fold has been in Normal 111 years now.” said Angela Doyle, Public Relations Coordinator for The Baby Fold. “It started as a faith based orphanage and has really grown into a multi-service agency that meets the needs of the most vulnerable children in our community and supports them and their families. So through the years it adapted as the community changed. Now we have 16 programs that include foster care, adoption, residential care, special education, and a whole host of other family support and prevention programs.”
There are three types of foster care offered by The Baby Fold, which include relative, specialized, and traditional foster care.
Relative foster care is where children will stay with a relative, as a way to help lessen the traumatic impact of the foster care experience. The relative must first pass a criminal background check before taking the child. Licensing for this type of foster care is encouraged, but not required.
Specialized foster care is for children that need more care than others, due to severe medical, emotional, or behavioral needs. The children in this type of foster care each have an individualized treatment plan that is meant to address their specific needs. The specialized foster parents are all licensed and receive advance training to help meet the unique needs of the children in their care.
Traditional foster care is for children that are in the foster care system that have no viable home of a relative that they can stay with.
The types of foster care may all be a little different, but all have the common goal of providing temporary care until a permanent living situation can be found for the child, be it a return home, adoption, or guardianship.
Another important service offered by The Baby Fold is adoption.
Often parents looking to adopt a child will first bring the child into their home through foster parenting, while working through the adoption process. Children work with adoption workers to help prepare them for adoption, as well as counselors who help the children understand why they cannot return to their birth families.
The Baby Fold also runs both an elementary and high school that serve children with severe behavioral and emotional needs that can no longer be met by their public schools.
The goal of these schools is to provide a program that is specifically designed for their special needs.
“The program is very individualized, with very small classes, and small ratios.” said Doyle. “It’s really a program developed specifically for children that have behavior and emotional needs. We step in and help them get back to a place where they can re-enter the public school system.”
The schools make sure that they cover the curriculum of the children’s public school, so that when the child re-enters the public school system they are still on track with the other students.
A long with the adoption, foster care and special education, The Baby Folds offers a variety of family and community services as well as residential services.
The Baby Fold has an Intact Family Services program that provides at-risk families services to prevent their children from coming into foster care.
One of the services offered is Healthy Start. Healthy start is a program aimed at helping first time young mothers by providing education and encouragement in their parental role.
The residential program offered by The Baby Folds is a program for children in between three and thirteen that need a specialized structured setting.
“We have 28 children who live with us on sight at The Residential Treatment Center.” said Doyle. “These are children who’s behavior and emotional needs require more support than their families can provide them. They need around the clock professional care. The ultimate goal of the program is to get children back into a family setting.”
All the programs and services offered by The Baby Fold represent their promise, which is to never give up on a child.
If you are interested in becoming a foster parent, adopting, or learning more about The Baby Fold and all their programs and services you can visit their website at www.thebabyfold.org or call 309-454-1770.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 01 October 2013 14:47