KVC Health Systems, a national leader in behavioral health and child welfare, has worked diligently for five years to develop the nation’s first college campus for youth emerging from foster care. The KVC team is passionate about helping youth in foster care avoid the grim statistics affiliated with “aging out.” KVC believes these youth deserve the education and wraparound support needed to achieve a bright future. Nearly 20,000 youth nationally age out of foster care each year without a permanent family or home, putting them at high risk of homelessness, unemployment, incarceration, illness and unplanned pregnancies.
While KVC hoped to launch its pilot program on the former West Virginia University Institute of Technology (WVU Tech) campus in Montgomery, WV, it has made the difficult decision to discontinue that effort. Verbal support for the project is exceptionally high, however there is a need for greater public and private financial support to successfully launch the initiative. In good faith, KVC has maintained the property for more than a year, but capital improvements and repairs required on the campus have exacerbated the financial need for start-up. KVC remains deeply committed to the concept of a specialized college campus with wraparound supports and is exploring other ways to bring the vision to life.
KVC will continue to have a strong presence throughout the state of West Virginia. KVC West Virginia, a local subsidiary of the parent organization, has a team of over 130 professionals working at 9 office locations covering 26 counties. It is one of the state’s largest private child placing agencies, recruiting and supporting foster families to care for children who have experienced child abuse, neglect and other family challenges. KVC West Virginia is also part of the state’s Safe at Home WV program, maximizing home- and community-based services for children in out-of-home care, and provides behavioral healthcare and adoption services.
KVC is grateful to its partners including WVU, BridgeValley Community & Technical College, the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Services, Alloy Federal Credit Union, the City of Montgomery, and the City of Smithers. These organizations have demonstrated compassion toward young people in foster care as well as a commitment to the economic development of the region.
While the Riverbend Center Supporting Higher Education project in Montgomery is being discontinued, KVC Health Systems is redoubling its efforts to address the nationwide child welfare system gap which allows youth to age out of foster care. Every young person deserves to be safe, connected to a support network, and given the opportunity to succeed. To learn how you can contribute to this important mission, contact Erin Stucky, KVC’s Chief Operations Officer, at (913) 322-4900 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
About KVC Health Systems
KVC Health Systems, headquartered in the greater Kansas City area, is a private, nonprofit 501(c)3 organization that enriches and enhances the lives of over 63,000 children and families each year by providing medical and behavioral healthcare, social services, and education. KVC’s broad continuum of services includes in-home family support, behavioral healthcare, foster care, adoption, substance abuse treatment, and children’s psychiatric hospitals. KVC’s team of 1,600 caring professionals are based at 35 locations in Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Kentucky and West Virginia and provide training and consultation around the world. Learn more.