In May 2017, a steadily rising number of children in foster care broke the 11,000 mark, the highest level in 10 years and a nearly 28 percent increase over the last five years.
In response to the increasing needs of children in North Carolina, Children’s Home Society is implementing an aggressive four-year strategic plan and realignment that will allow it to double the number of adoptions completed and the number of children served by family finding and enhanced foster care to permanency programs. CHS will triple the number of children served by child specific recruitment, designed to find permanent homes for children who have been in foster care the longest.
Two members of the Children’s Home Society of North Carolina senior leadership team are being promoted and will assume added responsibilities as the agency undergoes this significant growth.
“Children’s Home Society has more than 100 years of experience in responding to the greatest needs of children and families, and we are poised to do more to help the growing number of children in crisis today,” said Brian Maness, President & CEO of CHS.
Rebecca Starnes, as Vice President of Programs and Quality Improvement, will be responsible for leadership of family education services and intensive services to preserve families, reunite children in foster care with extended relatives, and place the longest-waiting children in foster care with adoptive families.
Rebecca Starnes, VP Programs and Quality Improvement, CHSNC
Matt Anderson, as Vice President of Programs and Business Development, will lead foster care and adoption services, post-adoption services, public policy, governmental affairs, and grants management.
Matt Anderson, VP Programs and Business Development, CHSNC
“As CHS continues to adapt to meet the needs of children and families today and in the future, we are very fortunate to have these two CHS leaders who are positioned to take on significantly expanded leadership roles,” Maness said. “Rebecca and Matt have the benefit of having worked closely together as members of our executive team, as well as through the development and implementation of our most recent strategic plan.”
“The need is great for permanent, safe, and loving families for children at risk in North Carolina. We are excited to take on this challenge with strong leadership,” Maness added.
Starnes has provided and led programs for parents and youth for more than 20 years. She was the Coordinator for Family Programs for the Family Life Council before serving as the Co-Director of that organization. Starnes joined Children’s Home Society through a merger with Family Life Council in 2010. She has led the Family Life Education Division as Vice President and served on the CHS Executive Leadership Team since then. The Family Life Education division tripled in size over the past seven years.
“All children deserve the love and support of family, yet family relationships can be challenging. I am excited to work with these innovative programs focused on protecting and creating strong, healthy families,” Starnes said.
Anderson joined Children’s Home Society in 2011. He has held several increasingly responsible roles since then and most recently served as Vice President of Strategic Advancement. Before his time with CHS, Anderson worked nationally on child welfare reform initiatives. He produced an award-winning documentary on children aging out of foster care, worked in many states and with Congress on important child welfare legislation, and managed child welfare programs in Montana prior to moving to North Carolina.
“Children’s Home Society has a proud history of strengthening families and creating loving homes for children in need. I am honored and humbled to lead a talented and dedicated team of social workers, and I am excited to see the impact we are going to have for children and families across North Carolina,” Anderson said.
CHS helps support more than 20,000 children and families annually through a diverse array of services including adoption, foster care, parenting education, teen pregnancy prevention, and family preservation programs.