FosterBuild project to foster family keep siblings together

Press Staff Writer

        Malori and Chad McCloskey will  have to endure a bit of hammering and sawing at their Jerusalem Township home during the holiday season, but they won’t mind at all.
        The McCloskeys, a Lucas County Children Services foster family, is both getting and giving a remarkable gift.
        Contractors and supplies from the Professional Remodelers Organization (PRO) are donating their time, labor and building materials to install a second story on the couple’s home over the next two months.
        The 300 square-foot addition will mean the family has more space to foster more children – in particular, sibling groups.
        Each year, PRO’s board of directors designates a President's Project, a community service project that, this year, was selected by PRO President Scott Hinz, the owner of Total Quality Construction.   
        Hinz wanted to help a foster family, so PRO                turned to long-time partner, Maumee Valley Habitat for Humanity to help find a way to make a difference.
        The  two groups, in turn,                reached out to LCCS, only to learn the child protective agency, in 2018, saw a 16 percent increase in the number of children who were abused or neglected, compared to the previous year. Largely due to the opioid epidemic, many of those children have come from sibling groups – a big          reason for such a significant jump.
         The McCloskeys have already adopted two children through LCCS, but want to continue opening their home to more foster children to give them a safe  and stable living environment.
        “I'm one of 10 children, myself. I could never imagine   living without my brothers and sisters growing up,” Malori said. “As a couple, we’re committed to keeping sibling groups together and this project goes a long way to help us do that.”
        “LCCS needs more foster families to meet the growing influx of children who come into our care and custody,” said LCCS Executive Director Robin Reese. “This project provides more living space for siblings at a crucial time to help meet that vital need. Brothers and sisters need to stay together whenever possible, because it gives them a sense of normalcy and support. We thank PRO and Habitat for Humanity for partnering on such a unique project.”
        FosterBuild is an entirely donation-driven volunteer effort. Nearly 30 contractors, suppliers and others have contributed in some way to the project, which got underway earlier this month.
        Work will proceed on a parallel track both inside and outside the home, getting the addition roofed over first, with plumbing and electrical, HVAC and other indoor work to follow.
        “We want to give back and make a difference in the community where we own our business,” Hinz said. “This year’s President’s Project helps the most vulnerable population in our community – its children. Helping foster parents to be able to house and care for the children in their custody is a great way to make that difference.”
        “Maumee Valley Habitat for Humanity understands that everyone deserves a decent place to live,” said Michael McIntyre, the organization’s director. “We love to serve our community by partnering with the Professional Remodelers Organization. Earlier this year, they helped us serve a family with a home preservation project, and we are thrilled to partner with them again to build capacity for more fostering at the McCloskey home.”
        In 2018, Lucas                County Children Services received reports of 4,563 children being maltreated. LCCS investigations revealed that 1,848 children were actually abused or neglected, a 16 percent increase over the previous year. Overall, the agency provided services to 12,650 children in 5,047 families.
        The  mission of Lucas County Children Services is to lead the community in the protection of children at risk of abuse and neglect. This is accomplished by working with families, service providers and community members to assess risk    and coordinate         community-based services resulting in safe, stable and permanent families for children.


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