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New Kind of Foster Care: The Crossnore School Model

A foster child is generally defined as a child without parental support and protection, placed with a person or family to be cared for, usually by local welfare services or by court order. A true definition, but it leaves out the part where the child is no longer safe in the enviornment that as humans we are supposed to trust in the most: our families.

When these “family” units fail, children are placed in foster homes. Foster homes can take many different forms, from institutions and group homes to private homes, but a new model of “home” is emerging.

The Crossnore School is one such foster home in North Carolina. They are a nonprofit residential foster care home for children in crisis; staff provide a sanctuary of hope and healing for the children there. The school is spread across 85 acres in a beautiful area of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The Crossnore School not only takes care of these children but provides them with a sanctury of hope and healing.

The children who live at Crossnore, live in home-like cottages under the close supervision of two cottage parents, dedicated professionals who proivde love and assistance 24 hours a day. However, this is not what makes Crossnore unique. They are the only residential foster care home in North Carolina that also has a public K-12 charter school, where all of their children attend.

Crossnore offers a holistic approach to treating the while child emotionally, physically, mentally and spiritually. Their “Theory of Change” model is unique to their organiation. Offering 19 forms of therapy ranging form family and play therapy to substance abuse and equine therapy also makes them unique.

In 2008, The Crossnore School began adopting the Sancturary Model of Care for use at its facility. This model of treatment and organizational framework for creating trauma informed communities was developed with Dr. Sandra Bloom. Crossnore is one of 100 program internationally where the Sanctury Model is applied. Using a trauma-informed basis for care in also another unique principle of the school.

The main mission of the Crossnore School is to provide complete and intensive care for the children to enable them to develop into mature, responsible adults. The children are given complete care and treatment to ensure their quality mental, physical and emotional development. Their model of treatment is unique and quite different from what is used in other foster homes in North Carolina and across the nation.

The Crossnore School works very hard to ensure the children in their care blossom to their full potential. This is why we need to take a second look at our understanding of residential foster homes or congregate care in the United States and look to Crossnore as an example of how foster care can look for the future of the nearly 400,000 children in care each year.

For more information on Crossnore, please visit their website, or connect with them on Facebook at To stay up to date with the latest from Garbage Bag Suitcase, sign up for our email newsletter at, or find us on Facebook at

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