Crossnore School and Children’s Home offers sanctuary when kids need it most

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — Crossnore School and Children’s Home works to give children in crisis a sense of stability.

“In North Carolina in 2018 there were over 17,000 kids who were in the foster care system at some point during the year, that means a court has decided that it is not safe to live with your parents and that's a pretty dramatic thing to happen,” Chief Executive Officer Brett Loftis said.

Abuse, neglect, addiction and domestic violence are just some of the issues that have disrupted their lives.

“Our job is to provide a sanctuary for them during that time. A safe home, great supportive therapeutic services, wonderful school services, so that they can heal while their parents hopefully heal,” Loftis said.

It’s ideal to reunite children with their families, but if that’s not possible, the next best option is to have them adopted into a home.

Working toward that process and addressing client needs in the meantime requires taking detailed notes.

“If you have an assessment that can take in itself two hours because you have to gather a lot of information about a specific individual, so that alone can take a long time to do,” Clinical Director Johannes Steffin said.

It can take Crossnore staff members as long as three hours a day to type notes from client sessions; however, speech recognition software is expected to reduce that time in half.

Crossnore was able to purchase the software with a $25,000 grant from the Winston-Salem Foundation.

“The community foundation has helped us with rebranding, and new signage, and things like this voice recognition software that we get to use with our therapists is really critical and it would be hard to find another way to get resources like that,” Loftis said.

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