Keystone Family Alliance has received a $7,500 grant from the Community Foundation for the Alleghenies (CFA) to advance its mission of engaging local churches and community members in caring for vulnerable children involved in the Pennsylvania Child Welfare System.
The Fall 2023 grant will assist Keystone Family Alliance in increasing awareness and engagement of churches and community members in Indiana and Somerset counties to provide more stable, well-supported homes for vulnerable children involved in the child welfare system in these counties.
“Our Distribution Committee is pleased to award this funding on behalf of our donors,” says Angie Berzonski, Community Foundation for the Alleghenies’ Associate Director. “We are hopeful that it will have a big impact not only on children in the foster care system but also on the foster families who will be able to receive much-needed support and training. Keystone Family Alliance is a new grantee for us and we appreciate the opportunity to get to know their work a little better.”
Of the nearly 14,000 children in Pennsylvania currently in foster care, 307 of these children are from Indiana and Somerset counties. Both counties have a shortage of foster homes, especially for older youth and sibling groups. Keystone Family Alliance strives to not only recruit new foster families, but to support them through Care Communities, small support groups that provide meals, transportation, childcare, and help with household tasks. There are active care communities in both counties. Keystone Family Alliance also meets the tangible needs of biological, kinship, and foster families through the Gateway online portal. Gateway allows social workers to share tangible needs of vulnerable children and families while maintaining confidentiality, so local volunteers can help meet those needs.
Keystone Family Alliance also supports children and families by providing trauma-informed training for parents, and caregivers, and helping professionals who care for children who have experienced trauma. Keystone Family Alliance is currently serving Indiana, Somerset, Clarion, Blair, and Erie counties in the Western Pennsylvania region and recently launched in Cambria, Armstrong, and Clearfield counties since receiving the Fall 2023 grant. In total, Keystone Family Alliance is active in 17 counties across the state with plans to continue to serve additional counties in 2024 and beyond.
“Keystone Family Alliance is not a foster or adoption agency. Rather, we are a bridge organization that connects the local church to the needs of local children, families, and agencies. We connect people to practical ways they can serve orphans and vulnerable children,” says Vince Smith, Executive Director. “Whether you are a church, organization, or someone who wants to help, we believe everyone can do something.”
For more information on Keystone Family Alliance and how to get involved in your county, please visit www.keyfam.org or contact Morgan Livingston-Wunsch, email@example.com for Indiana County, and Lydia Shaffer, firstname.lastname@example.org for Somerset and Cambria Counties.