Mission: Hope Village recognizes that children need and deserve healthy attachment within a family. Therefore, our mission is to build families and promote permanency, giving children hope for their future.
Background: Based upon Generations of Hope, a successful 14-year-old program in Illinois, Hope Village will provide consistent, long-term foster care and adoption for hard-to-place children in Northern Virginia, and as we build new sites, nation-wide. We are currently doing the "spadework" needed to accomplish any complex undertaking; the planning. The following are currently underway:
- Identify land and builders,
- Work with local Community Service Boards and the local Social Support System,
- Network with politicians, non-profit foundation leadership, and community leaders.
Vision: To establish an inter-generational foster/adoption community that includes dedicated, trained foster families, staff, therapists, and "grandparents" to support each other as they meet the needs of foster children. This structure will enable families to provide hard-to-place children with long-term care, and adoption when possible; thus promoting permanency.
Strategies: Hope Village offers training for professionals and parents involved with foster/adopted children in order to support all involved to promote the goal of permanency.
Hope Village hosts an annual Foster Care and Adoption Symposium to promote networking and building support within the foster/adopt community. In addition, speakers present exciting, current research, and local organizations share updates and opportunities relevant to the field.
Within the Hope Village community:
- Our families will receive the support only a close-knit community can provide; loving support from the other foster families, on-site social workers, surrogate grandparents from the senior population, and leveraged support from the State-wide child welfare system.
- We plan to have between 30 and 45 children onsite within the first year. Our local infrastructure will include 15 foster families and 15 senior citizen dwellings, a community center, including tutoring rooms, intake center and administrative offices. Community events will be hosted.
- Relationships with local therapists will be leveraged to ensure the children receive effective counseling and the families are assisted in the often-daunting task of raising children with significant issues.
About the founders of Hope Village: Paul and Lori Thomas have been blessed with seven children, three of which were born into the family. In addition to their children, Paul and Lori have also been foster parents to several children.
Their youngest child arrived in their home after several placements. Devastated by constant disruption, he developed R.A.D. (Reactive Attachment Disorder). By the time he arrived in their home, their son had given up on belonging. He was unable to bond, and was prone to violent outbursts and constant disruptive behaviors.
Intense therapy and support were required in order to allow him to begin the road to recovery.
Hope Village is a program for children like their son. The supportive nature of the community will enable foster families to offer homes for hard-to-place children. These children will find a family, a community, and a place to call home.