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Hamilton County's Family Nurturing Center raising money for playground

Outdoor space gives families a few hours of normal
Posted at 7:36 AM, May 21, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-21 09:16:06-04

CINCINNATI -- The number of children in foster care is reaching an all-time high

The Family Nurturing Center in Roselawn expanded its services. But it needs more space outdoors for kids to play.

The center is a place where biological family members can have supervised visits with their children each week. A typical visit lasts two hours. Experts say kids who visit regularly with parents show lessened trauma symptoms and do better in school. 

With regular visits, there's also a high chance of families being reunified.

RELATED: 'Staggering' number of children in county care

In its expanded space that has 28 visiting rooms, the Family Nurturing Center can now serve 400 families each month. Its waitlist is virtually gone.

But the outside space is just a grassy area next to a parking lot. The center has part of an incredible playground to install, but it needs new things for the kids.

Executive director Jane Herms remembered how one mother cried when the playground opened at the Family Nurturing Center's old location.

"She said, 'I've never been outside with my child,' because the child was removed at birth and she'd always only visited them in a room with someone watching. And so to be able to be outside, it takes away some of those barriers. We're still there, we're still watching, making sure that the family is safe and the child is safe, but you sort of forget that and start to play and be a kid," Hern said.

Corporate donors helped shape the inside of the building, but the center wants the playground to be a community effort. The fundraising goal is $15,000.

To learn about the project and donate, visit the GoFundMe page.