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System Change: Why It Matters for Children


Imagine waking up tomorrow and finding out you had to go live somewhere else. Somewhere you didn’t choose. Away from your family, your friends, your pets, and everything you know. You don’t know the people you are going to live with. And while they seem like nice people, you’re not in your neighborhood, your home, or your bed.

The Reality of Coming into Foster Care

Children in foster care have that happen every time they enter the system or have to change placements. They usually have very little warning before DSS moves them. They have little notice to pack their small bag of possessions before a social worker drives them to a place away from home to stay with people they likely don’t know.

At Crossnore, we want every child to feel at home. We can’t control the way things happen or why children end up in foster care. But we can influence how to help them find home in many ways.

Ensuring They See Hope and Healing

First, we want to ensure they see hope and healing with each interaction they have whether it be with staff, foster parents, or volunteers.  We care about each and every one of them as an individual. We believe they deserve to be seen, heard, and loved.  

Helping Them on Their Journey Home

Second, we want them to know we are here to help them on their journey home, wherever that might be. We are very clear that being in foster care, away from cousins, grandparents, aunts, uncles, parents, and sometimes even siblings, is not home. At Crossnore, we believe wholeheartedly in supporting their journey to reunite with their loved ones. We want them to be as connected as possible to their families, even while they can’t live with them. Families thrive together, we know this.

Pushing for System Change

Lastly, we will continue to push for system change to improve the way children and families we serve are impacted by the system. This takes local, state, and national advocacy. Just because a system has been set up in a way that people have figured out how to maneuver doesn’t make it the best way. At Crossnore we are committed to ensuring that the programs we are building in our prevention and placement service array are committed to challenging the status quo and asking for a better way. 

We want children to remain with their families if at all possible. Children need to see their families as much as they can if they have to be removed. We want to see children return home as soon as it’s safe. Our primary focus is to support children as they make their way back to their own neighborhood, bed, pets, and ultimately their family where they belong. Advocacy for system change is long and tiring work and change does not come quickly.  But for every child that has a better experience and a better outcome because of changes made, it’s worth it.