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Leon Levine Foundation commits $1 million to help solve foster-care crisis

Charlotte’s Leon Levine Foundation has committed $1 million to the Children’s Home Society of North Carolina, making one of the largest contributions to its strategic growth campaign.

CHS offers a wide range of family services, including adoption and foster care, parent education, teen pregnancy prevention and post-adoption support. Founded in 1902, it has placed more than 15,000 children into adoptive homes statewide.

“We’ve been funders of CHS for several years and have gotten to know their team pretty well. Their impact on children across the state is tremendous,” said Tom Lawrence, the Levine foundation’s executive director. “CHS has such a strong track record of placing children and helping families remain intact, and they’re often working with the toughest to serve children.”

Human services is one of four focus areas for the foundation, with health care, education and Jewish values.

“The foundation also clearly appreciates the nature of the foster care crisis North Carolina currently faces and feels confident that its funds will be put to good use confronting that crisis because of CHS’s track record of good stewardship and successful outcomes,” CHS trustee David Shuford said in a statement.

CHS’s four-year strategic plan aims to double the number of children it serves, particularly those at risk of aging out of the foster care system without a family.

CEO Brian Maness said earlier this year that CHS was able to place only 12 percent of the children referred to it in 2016. At the end of last year, CHS said, 10,524 children were in foster care in the state, with about 2,400 children eligible for adoption.

“As both a CHS adoptee and a member of its board of trustees, I am profoundly grateful for the foundation’s support for and vote of confidence in CHS’ efforts to promote the right of every child in North Carolina to a permanent, safe and loving family,” Shuford said.

Bruce Henderson: 704-358-5051, @bhender

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