Grant helps camp for foster children hire specially trained counselors

A Lowcountry year-round camp for foster kids has received a $3,000 grant for additional resources.
Published: Sep. 18, 2023 at 9:12 AM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

JOHNS ISLAND, S.C. (WCSC) -A Lowcountry year-round camp for foster kids has received a $3,000 grant for additional resources. The camp is called Three Rivers Respite and offers some relief to South Carolina foster families.

Three Rivers Respite is a nonprofit located on Johns Island on seven acres of land. They offer short-term respite, like day camps, to foster families so they can continue the challenging work of caring for foster children.

The Joanna Foundation, which says its purpose is to “support organizations and programs that strengthen community capacity and enhance individual involvement in achieving a better quality of life,” granted Three Rivers Respite $3,000 so that they could afford to hire more counselors to help with camp.

The counselors are trained in trust-based relational intervention or TBRI, which the National Institute of Health describes as a “therapeutic model that trains caregivers to provide effective support and treatment for at-risk children.”

The grant allowed them to hire and pay the salary of one additional counselor for the summer who helped provide this kind of therapy to the children.

“It covers the salaries for our camp counselors for the summer. So, we only, we hired 1 camp counselor just for the amount of day camps we had and the number of kids, 1 counselor was enough,” Chairman of the Board of Three Rivers Respite Matthew Alt said. “She’s been fantastic. A fantastic addition to Three Rivers Respite and it’s been a huge blessing to these kids and to us.”

The goal at Three Rivers Respite is to give foster parents a break from the hardships that come with taking on a foster child and connect the kids with other foster children who can relate to their circumstances.

“And a big part of that too is community when you’re a foster parent. Any walk of life you want community, you want people surrounding you that understand and they’re going through the same thing that you’re going through. And so, we’ve seen that,” Executive Director of Three Rivers Respite Heather Alt said. “It’s developing a community of like-minded people going through the same thing so that we can support one another, encourage one another, and just share in the joys and the challenges of fostering.”

The Alt’s say that this funding also helps them be able to afford to build more facilities on their property for the foster children, like cabins for overnight camps.

If you or someone you know needs respite care for foster kids or wants to get involved, click here.