Transforming The DCF Family Reuniting Experience
Fostering Family Hope emerged out of an idea to help foster children in practical ways. Beginning as a foster closet and evolving into Fostering Family Initiative, a program designed to better the connections of foster children with their families through the improvement of visitation areas. The once small project finally took root to form Fostering Family Hope. Established in 2021, we’re an organization driven by a strong foundation of support, community involvement, and physical & financial donations to meet the needs of the foster community that too often go unnoticed.
Fostering Family Hope has built widespread excitement around their initiative to beautify the inside of DCF offices to make them more welcoming, warm, and inspiring to families reuniting with their children. The team recently completed adding beautiful art and furniture inside the New Haven DCF Office and are currently fundraising to complete the Meriden DCF office.
New Haven Project Example: https://www.ctinsider.com/news/article/CT-DCF-shift-to-focus-on-supporting-parents-means-16673439.php
Fostering Family Hope has now partnered with fellow mural nonprofit, RiseUP for Arts, to help bring further awareness to the project, support fundraising efforts, and help build a broad network of artists for these projects at DCF offices across the state.
Below is a recent mural RiseUP completed at Hartford DCF in partnership with My People Clinical Services and DCF's Fatherhood Initiative: https://www.fox61.com/article/news/local/facelift-hartford-dcf-office-multi-colored-mural/520-58a85f7c-76b9-4ab1-89d1-e3fba2b6adcb
About Meriden Project:
We are raising $13,000 to complete the transformation of 6 rooms and a hallway at the Meriden DCF Office. The $13,000 will cover the costs of outfitting the rooms with new furniture and painting the rooms with beautiful colors and murals.
Rooms 107 & 108: Sensory Rooms- will not have murals due to the varying needs of kids who will be using those rooms
Room 109 & 110, 111: Teen Room, Infant Room, and Family Room- murals
Room 105: Transform into "bodega": Families can check out toys and games during their visitation and take home things like diapers, wipes, food, etc. We will do a mural around the doorway and the wall to mimic a bodega vibe
The rest of the "waiting room" and hallway are also open for artwork.
We are also partnering with local youth arts organization, Our House in Meriden, to paint one of the rooms. Other local artists will also be selected to work on the other rooms.
Fostering Family Hope Story: https://www.fosteringfamilyhope.org/
Erin and Megan's foster care journeys started off surprisingly at the same time. The two friends unexpectedly walked into the same licensing class! Together with their husbands, they became licensed foster parents through the Connecticut Department of Children and Family Services and shared every high and low that foster care has thrown at them. Erin and Megan quickly realized the substantial need for just basic essentials for kids coming into care. As they established a foster closet to meet these basic needs, their vision promptly grew into Fostering Family Hope. They have realized their purpose in helping kids in care and their families (foster, adoptive, or biological) find hope together. Along with friends and fellow foster parents, they are devoted to making a difference in the lives of children & families.
RiseUP's Story: https://www.theriseupgroup.org/
RiseUP was founded in 2012 as a youth development and mentoring program aimed at helping youth develop the skills needed to be the catalysts that inspire and uplift their community. We launched RiseUP University as an after-school and weekend program that connected youth with mentors and career coaches. The program also required youth to commit to community service. In 2015, the RiseUP University youth cohort decided to paint a large-mural in Hartford as part of their major service project. After that first mural, the Hartford Murals program was born.
RiseUP has branded itself as RiseUP for Arts and has grown to be the State of Connecticut's only state-wide public art nonprofit. In addition to public art, RiseUP for Arts is still focused on youth development in each community mural project. RiseUP also partners and organizes creative placemaking experiences across Connecticut
We have completed over 75 mural and place-making projects (and counting) throughout Connecticut, we work with 40+ local artists, partner with 100's of communities and organizations and host 1,000+ volunteers per year to help paint our murals. RiseUP for Arts creates public art through donations, grants, and community goodwill.