(Billings, Mont.) March 30, 2017 – Yellowstone Boys and Girls Ranch (YBGR) is expanding its services to children and families in Montana. Their Community Based Services (CBS) Therapeutic Foster Care (TFC) program is expanding from locations in and around Billings and Livingston, Mont., to also include Dillon and surrounding area.
“We’re at the point where we want to grow the program,” said Charise Lemelin, YBGR’s CBS Clinical Director.
Lemelin said that she has a dream to acquire 15-20 foster care placements in the Dillon area. Funding for the program would create two new positions – a family resource specialist and a treatment manager.
“When you hear times of children in crisis having to sleep overnight in their social workers’ offices and in shelter care settings, or that current foster families are having to accept more kids into their homes than the recommended amount to keep kids safe, it speaks volumes to the need and crisis in this state,” said Kim Chouinard, YBGR’s Executive Director of CBS.
“If we have families ready to license, we can get started with families right now,” Lemelin said. “A piece of it, too, is having respite care available so that when foster families get stressed out or just need a weekend, it’s there for them.”
The organization serves 23 families between the Billings and Livingston locations and works with Child Bridge on programs which assist with TFC families.
“Part of this initiative is to create more placements in Livingston as well,” Lemelin said. “We know there is a need in Montana and we want to do our best to fill it.”
The first foster parent informational meeting will be held on Wednesday, April 19, from 6 – 8 p.m. in the Dillon Elementary School Board Room. Contact YBGR’s offices at 406-683-0416 in Dillon, or 406-222-6490 in Livingston for more information and upcoming pre-service dates.