In 2018, EVstudio was awarded a unique and special project with Adams County’s Children & Family services, with director Janis James and other staff, to help alleviate a challenging problem they encounter. It’s often the case that when a family faces a situation where a child, or minor, needs to be removed from their guardian’s custody and placed into a foster care situation, there is a great deal of trauma, shock, and confusion for the child.
The challenge Adams County faces, as well as many municipalities around the country, is where to immediately place the child on a temporary basis while a more permanent solution is found; and in a way to limit trauma. Desperately Adams County social workers found themselves often having to coordinate and travel as far away as Pueblo and Grand Junction for emergency foster care. Not only does this add to the child’s trauma and confusion, especially when siblings have to be separated, but removes them from their school and community, and is not an efficient use of staff time or resources. In recognition of this growing challenge, the new model program Homes for Hope concept was born and took a four-year county-wide effort to arrive at a viable solution. The solution resulted in Adams County acquiring two single-family residences that were remodeled and updated for two families to provide emergency foster care for 8-10 kids at any given time, at each home. Adams County estimates a savings of $155,000 per year in foster care placement costs.
EVstudio’s architecture, structural, and electrical engineering disciplines were used in working with one of Adams County’s construction project managers Cat Townsend and general contractor Whitestone Construction Services to bring varying aspects up to code, replace dilapidated heating and wastewater systems and liven up the environment with fresh lighting, appliances, furniture, and finishes. A great feature that both of these homes already had was an ideal transition entry space. Having a secondary entry is essential in reducing trauma for the child and the current residents of the home.
This project resulted in two dilapidated houses remodeled into two warm and inviting residences suitable and appropriate for an emergency foster care environment. We’re proud to have had the opportunity to help assist Adams County staff and families through the Homes for Hope program providing emergency foster care facilities and in so doing, help lessen the shock and trauma these kids face.