By Mieke VanderBorght, USAG Italy Family Advocacy ProgramApril 4, 2019
VICENZA, Italy (April 4, 2019) -- There are many stressors that military family life can bring. Add to that the challenges of living overseas, and it may happen that sometimes families find themselves in a difficult or even dangerous situation. If there are children involved, it may be in their best interest to provide some temporary relief from the chaos in the form of a stable and caring home.
That's where the Army Community Service Family Advocacy Program's Emergency Placement Care program swoops in to help.
Emergency Placement Care (EPC) programs are present on all overseas locations and acts as those communities' version of foster care. If children need to be removed from their family, EPC provider families step in to provide a safe, loving temporary healing space.
Unlike a traditional foster care program, EPC is set up for only short-term placements. Children stay with a provider family for a maximum of 90 days while their family of origin is getting back on their feet, or until a more permanent solution stateside can be arranged. Provider families can be the shining light of hope for children in the midst of a stressful time.
Interested in opening your heart and home to a child in need? The application process to become a provider family is straightforward: applicants submit initial paperwork that details some basic biographical information. Then, the family visits the security office to start the process of obtaining background checks. Once finished with the security office, the FAP team follows up with interviews and a home visit.
If everything clears, the family is approved. And there's no need to worry about not being prepared to host a child: FAP provides approved families with all the training, information and support they need in their role as potential partner caregivers.
FAP is currently recruiting EPC provider families. It can take some time to get through all the steps of the approval process; for that reason, families with a few years ahead of them here in Vicenza are the best candidates.
If you're ready to be a hero for children in your community, please contact FAP at 0444-71-5813, 0444-71-7489, or ACS at 0444-71-7500.