May 15, 2017, 9:06 a.m.

Southmountain Children and Family Services Receives Grant from the Community Foundation of Burke County

Children at Southmountain Estates, a Foster Community operated by Southmountain Children and Family Services, now have the opportunity to participate in an art program, made possible by a $5,080 grant from the Community Foundation of Burke County. The Foster Community is a one-of-a-kind program serving children in out of home care as a result of abuse, neglect or other loss and is currently home to 48 children. Located in Western Burke County, the program serves children from across Western North Carolina, primarily Burke and surrounding counties.
The grant from the Community Foundation has allowed Southmountain to hire an art teacher as well as repair two pottery kilns and purchase art supplies.
The art program is an important part of the activities offered for children at Southmountain Estates. The expressive arts are known to facilitate emotional and creative expression for children who have experienced the trauma of child abuse. Art activities also can reduce stress and offer a great opportunity for children to pursue their interests and talents. Along with the art program, Southmountain recently began a music program that adds to the academic enrichment, recreation, and self-esteem building activities offered for the children living at Soutmountain Estates.
Southmountain’s Foster Community is a unique program and the only one of its kind in North Carolina, combining the best aspects of foster care and group home care. In addition to the Foster Community, Southmountain Children and Family Services operates four Children’s Advocacy Centers serving Burke, McDowell, Watauga, Avery, Yancey and Mitchell Counties. The purpose of the Children’s Advocacy Centers is to coordinate child abuse investigations with the agencies involved in the process including law enforcement, the District Attorney’s office, the Department of Social Services, medical and mental health services. Southmountain staff conducts forensic interviews and child medical exams on site at the Children’s Advocacy Centers; key components of the child abuse investigation.
Southmountain also operates the Center of Excellence serving Western North Carolina. The Center of Excellence provides evidence-based therapy for children and their non-offending parents who are suffering trauma symptoms as a result of abuse, neglect or other loss.
Southmountain would like to thank the Community Foundation of Burke County for the current grant and for their continued support of Southmountain Children and Family Services.