You don’t have to choose between your health and your child’s safety.
If you are having a medical emergency and you have no care for your children, NeighborCare can find temporary care while you seek the help you need. NeighborCare is a system of community agencies that can partner to find care for your children so you can be healthy and they can be safe. Participating in NeighborCare can prevent DSS involvement if your children are left alone.
NeighborCare can help if:
- You have a precarious housing or family situation which poses a risk to children should he or she be hospitalized,
- You have an immediate medical need which requires a surgery or hospitalization,
- You have no option for appropriate, adult care for your child(ren) aged 0 to 17 years of age when you are hospitalized, and
- You are resident of Mecklenburg County.
The Relatives partners in NeighborCare are Carolinas Healthcare System, Novant Health, The Salvation Army Center of Hope Shelter, the Mecklenburg County Department of Social Services, Alexander Youth Network and the Children’s Homes Society of North Carolina.
Social workers at shelters and hospitals have witnessed firsthand the devastating effects that NeighborCare seeks to alleviate. Some can tell stories of pregnant mothers who must leave their children at shelters to deliver an infant, only to return hours later to care for the children they left behind. When kids go to the hospital with a parent in dire medical need, nursing staff must choose between finding childcare themselves or calling the Department of Social Services. Most human services organizations have seen parents and caregivers avoid urgent medical procedures because they have nowhere to turn for temporary child care.
The Department of Social Services estimates that once a child enters the foster care system, he or she will remain in the system for one year at a cost of $19,656 annually. If NeighborCare successfully keeps only five of these children annually from entering foster care the program pays for itself in community cost savings on foster care alone. The funding for NeighborCare has been made possible through The Community Care Fund with The Foundation for the Carolinas, The Leon Levine Foundation, Carolinas Healthcare System, Novant Health Presbyterian Hospital, and Mecklenburg County Department of Social Services.