Saturday, June 14, 2014
HALOS (Helping and Lending Outreach Support), a local nonprofit organization serving abused and neglected children, announces the launch of the HALOS ToolKit by the Office for Victims of Crime (OVC), Office of Justice Programs and U.S. Department of Justice. The toolkit was developed to provide tools and information for other communities to replicate the HALOS model in meeting the needs of abused and neglected children by linking local Child Protective Service agencies with private faith and community groups, businesses and individuals.
HALOS was founded in 1997 by Dr. Eve Spratt, a pediatrician and child psychiatrist at MUSC. Dr. Spratt mobilized the community to provide tangible items and special opportunities that abused and neglected children, while made safe by the Department of Social Services and other agencies, still lacked because of the poverty in which they live.
Dr. Spratt notes, “I want the children I see in my practice to experience the same childhood joys my own children and other children in our community have, that are considered a natural part of childhood.”
Today, HALOS enhances the quality of life for child victims by conducting gift donation drives during the holidays and school uniform and supply donation drives. HALOS also ensures safety during out-of-school summer months by providing scholarships to local camps and activities.
In addition, HALOS helps place children safely with relatives by providing essential items including beds, cribs and car seats. HALOS strives to improve outcomes for children placed in the care of relatives so that they can avoid foster care. There are more than 55,000 children in South Carolina in these kinship care situations in which an adult relative or family friend has stepped in to assume their full-time care, keeping them out of the foster care system. HALOS provides support group meetings, home visits, referrals for services and respite events to this growing and vulnerable population.
For more information, visit www.charlestonhalos.com.