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WINSTON-SALEM — Crossnore School & Children’s Home is pleased to announce the receipt of a $1.3M gift from Elizabeth M. Strickland, a longtime resident of Winston-Salem, NC. This gift will be used to pilot an evidence-based program providing prevention services to support families and prevent children being removed from their homes or entering Department of Social Services custody. Mrs. Strickland’s gift will fund the pilot program for its first year.

“Betty Strickland has long been a supporter of the Winston-Salem community and her generous gift will serve families in the Triad for generations to come,” said Brett Loftis, Crossnore’s Chief Executive Officer.

Crossnore School & Children’s Home is a nonprofit child welfare organization with three locations in Forsyth, Avery, and Henderson counties serving western North Carolina. With the passing of the Families First Prevention Services Act, early intervention and prevention programs have taken on a greater importance in the child welfare system. Crossnore will implement the HOMEBUILDERS® Family Preservation program, a nationally known, evidence-based program that provides in-home crisis intervention, counseling, and life skills education for families whose children are at imminent risk of being removed from the home.

Crossnore expects to initially create four to five new staff positions in Winston-Salem, with more teams planned in the future. These teams will work with local Departments of Social Services to identify and serve families who need this support.

“Forsyth County Department of Social Services truly values the presence of Crossnore School & Children’s Home. They continue to strengthen our community with various evidence-based services and advocacy for a system of care development for children and families,” Victor Isler, director of Forsyth County Department of Social Services, said. “The HOMEBUILDERS® Family Preservation program holds a favorable rating with the California Evidence-Based Clearinghouse for Child Welfare in the areas of family stabilization, interventions for neglect, post-permanency support, and reunification. The vast service provision of the Homebuilders model will be an asset to our community. True promotion of safety, well-being, and permanency will be supported by this service. From my perspective, strengthening families is the utmost priority and Crossnore stands with us as a committed community partner.”

The goal of the HOMEBUILDERS® program is to remove the risk of abuse and neglect from a family situation, rather than removing the child from the home. With the implementation of this program, Crossnore staff will work with families to help them learn new behaviors and make better choices for their children.

“This generous donation is such a blessing for Crossnore and the Winston-Salem community,” Sarah Norris, chief program officer at Crossnore, said. “We will expand our service array to support families during their time of need. This program ensures safety for children so they may remain at home while their families work through their difficulties.”

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