Today in South Carolina there are 4042 children in foster care. The problem feels overwhelming, unsolvable. How do we proactively provide resources and support to families so that they do not have to be separated? How do we provide loving, caring, safe and stable homes for children and youth who do enter foster care? How do we care for our social services staff well to avoid burnout and turnover? How do we, as a community, wraparound our foster families with love, care, support, and appreciation so that they can continue to care for young people well – with everything they need?
So many questions. On the surface, so few tangible answers.
But we constantly are surprised by people who step up, and step out in faith to serve children and families well. Going above and beyond their “call of duty” to seek out and serve those most in need.
Christi is one of those people. She is moving the needle. One teen boy at a time.
Christi Halpin, a foster parent from York County, was nominated and chosen as the January 2022 Local Foster Care Innovator for her incredible dedication, commitment, and care for youth in foster care.
Foster homes for teenagers are often the hardest to find. While many of the state’s foster homes are open to younger children, there is a huge gap in the need for homes that will enthusiastically welcome teenagers. We believe that no one outgrows the desire for a family. Teens who do not find a home will often be placed in group homes.
Christi, her husband Tripp, and their three biological sons (25, 17, and 13) recognized the need and couldn’t do nothing. They have opened their home to teen boys experiencing foster care, even adding on an extra room to their home to meeting the desperate and urgent need. They have loved and cared for each young man placed in their home – and some of their families too, advocating for them, seeking resources, and offering support. They have welcomed 12 boys so far.
Meagan Coley is the Family Support Coordinator for Midland’s Foster Family Licensing and Support Unit who works closely with the Halpins.
She truly does go above and beyond for the foster children in this area to support them in any way she can. The Halpin’s have only been fostering for about a year and a half and in that short time, they have helped so many teen boys. She has a passion and a drive for this system that I have never seen before. She is so deserving of this award.
Caitlin Sund is the Executive Director for Defend the Fatherless and knows the family’s commitment.
Christi is such a special person who is certainly making a difference in the lives of the Foster Youth and fellow foster parents in York County. Christi is a vibrant person with a passion for saying “yes” to youth in need. She has a passion especially for teenage boys, a population who often gets overlooked. Christi sees the potential of every individual that is in her home. In addition, Christi has a passion for connecting foster parents and promoting community within the foster parent network. If she doesn’t see an immediate solution to a problem, Christi works hard to find one. Christi’s loving nature and passion for what she does is positively changing the world of foster care in York County.
Please join us in thanking and celebrating Christi, January 2022 Local Foster Care Innovator. You can show your appreciation by purchasing an item for her from her Amazon Wishlist.
Nominate someone you know who is changing foster care for the better. We love to hear the amazing stories of everyday heroes who are impacting their communities – foster parents, case managers, GAL/CASA, and volunteers. There are so many that work hard (often behind the scenes) to make days a little better and brighter for children and families.