Connie Maxwell Children’s Home receives $350,000 grant for foster care ministry

A recent $350,000 grant will strengthen Connie Maxwell Children’s Home’s resources in ministering to children and families through South Carolina’s foster care system.

The grant from the Duke Endowment will support the South Carolina Baptist Convention-related ministry’s ongoing activities in recruiting, training and supporting foster families, according to a Connie Maxwell news release.

Connie Maxwell president Danny Nicholson said that while the ministry is known for its longstanding tradition of residential care, “we continue to expand our services because the world is changing.”

“We want to be the best we can be in all the ways that we care for children, as we love and nurture them to be whole human beings made in the image of God,” said Nicholson. “When people talk about foster care, I want to hear them say ‘Connie Maxwell’ during that conversation.”

At any given time, approximately 4,000 children are active in the foster care system in South Carolina.

Tim Duncan, Connie Maxwell’s vice president for programs, said recent federal legislation prevents children of a certain age in DSS custody being placed in a residential setting. But Connie Maxwell can serve these children, he said.

“This allows us to diversify without taking away from our heritage in residential care,” said Duncan. “Adding more services for more children is our duty.”

Connie Maxwell and the Duke Endowment have a 22-year relationship, Duncan said, adding that endowment officials understand Connie Maxwell’s ability to be diverse while staying strong to its mission.

Paula Reed has served as Connie Maxwell’s foster care coordinator since July 2017, and looks forward to the ways the grant will expand her ministry scope over the next three years. “We have two new staff members responsible for training new and existing foster parents in the ARC (Attachment, Regulation and Competency) Reflections model, recruiting new foster parents, and increasing the support for our families,” Reed said.

The ARC Reflections model is part of the grant assistance, and offers therapeutic resources to foster families and children working through traumatic situations. Presented in a flexible learning format, the material includes self-regulation, acceptance, and relationship-building tools. The curriculum is tailored to the type of programming Connie Maxwell seeks to offer.

“We strive to support our foster families in caring for the children who come to them. With ARC, we will be able to provide relevant trauma training for our foster families to use as a tool for promoting healing for the children in their care,” Reed said.