Lowcountry Headlines

Lowcountry Headlines


GIVING THANKS: Foster parent renovates Berkeley County visitation rooms

Sincere different generations family sharing secrets or making peace.

Photo: Getty Images

A Lowcountry foster parent is pushing for change after realizing needs at the Berkeley County Department of Social Services office were not being met.

BERKELEY COUNTY, S.C. (WCSC) - A Lowcountry foster parent who has received placements from Berkeley County Social Services is pushing for change after realizing needs at the office were not being met.

Katherine Russell is a foster parent and executive director of The Okutonda Project, an organization that supports foster kids.

Russell says the county’s Department of Social Services’ visitation rooms were outdated and lacked resources for kids and teens. This is where the foster children visit with family or sometimes sleep waiting for foster care placement.

Russell says Bright City Church helped fund a project to renovate the rooms by donating about $2,300. With the money, Russell and her team will be transforming the visitation rooms with changes that include painting the walls, providing a sleeper sofa and adding a television.

“Giving them a space that’s dignified for them to walk into and know that they are seen, they are still valued, and still worth it even though they are experiencing really trying times, there is hope,” Russell says.

County DSS Director Juanita Bryant says dozens of kids use these rooms on a weekly basis and she’s hoping this renovation will bring them some comfort in their transition.

Russell with the help of the community her team is raising money to renovate the county’s second visitation room. Through The Okutonda Project Russell has raised roughly $500 dollars with a goal of $1,900.

If you’re interested in donating, click here.

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