Years ago, Crossnore’s leadership had a vision for how to do the work we have been doing for more than 100 years even better. This dream has come to life with the launch of Bridging Families© , Crossnore’s newest service line. Bridging Families combines the expertise of many of Crossnore’s historic programs (residential childcare, community foster care, therapy services and more). This program serves children and their families who are working to reunify after being involved with the foster care system in North Carolina…but in a new and innovative way.
As of July 2023, Crossnore has opened seven Bridging Families homes. There are three in Avery County, one in Mitchell County, two in Forsyth Countym and one in Henderson County.
Bridging Families homes are staffed by Bridge Parents. These parents are full-time, professional foster parents. They collaborate with a Case Manager, licensed Clinician, and team Supervisor and serve two to three families with wrap-around supports.
Dawn O’Malley, Psy.D., Crossnore’s Vice President of Clinical Services, has developed a clinical model for the program. This model draws on her thirty years of clinical experience, The Sanctuary Model, and Trust-Based Relational Intervention (TBRI) principles. It also heavily relies on the lived experience of our clients and staff.
Bridging Families Team
The Bridging Families team has expanded and we are excited about the addition of our first-ever Bridging Families Director. Scott Craver comes to us with more than 20 years of experience in the field. Scott is building a team across the State and connecting with DSS agencies. These connections will make stakeholders aware of this exciting approach to serving families involved in NC’s child welfare system.
“I am honored and humbled to be part of Bridging Families. It is a program unlike any other that I have encountered. During my 11 years as part of a local DSS, the challenges that foster care staff and families they worked with who had the desire, but not the means/support often resulted in ‘less than desirable’ outcomes. The philosophy of the Bridging Families model combined with the collective support of DSS, local communities, donors, and the Crossnore team is huge. It has the potential to turn those situations into healthier and happier families coming out of the child welfare system. I can’t think of a position I’d rather be in right now. I look forward to the future of Bridging Families,” said Scott.
We are currently hiring Bridge Parents for three additional Bridge Homes. These open positions are one each in Winston-Salem (Forsyth County); Saluda (Polk County), and Crossnore (Avery County).
We ask our network of supporters to help us find qualified candidates for this role. An ideal Bridge Parent is a person or couple/pair who is passionate about caring for children from hard places. Experience managing a household of large sibling sets is a plus. And, passion for collaborating with biological families to help them achieve reunification is required.
The work we have done so far with Bridging Families is only the beginning. Our goal for Bridging Families is system-wide change. We want families to be together the way they are intended to be. We commit to walking alongside them as they make it happen.