Do you want to open an orphanage but you lack adequate funding? If YES, here is a list of federal and state grants for building orphanages. Orphanages or Group homes for kids are residences meant to serve as an alternative to family foster homes. Homes normally house 4 or more children in a setting that offers the potential for the full use of community resources, including employment, health care, education, and recreational opportunities.
These homes are licensed and monitored by state departments of human services, licensing offices, or bureaus, and funding for their operations may come from different sources. As licensing procedures to open and manage an orphanage vary from state to state, it is important to research relevant laws in the jurisdiction where the orphanage will be opened.
Both private and government organizations provide grants for group homes. If you are considering applying for grant money from the government, always remember that many of the top-level government agencies do not issue grants directly to recipients. Instead, this money is typically awarded to state and local agencies and charities, who then establish an eligibility and application process.
One of the reasons information about grants for orphanages is difficult to find is that states have slowly been moving away from funding such homes. For instance, the State of Texas maintains that orphanages are no longer being emphasized as a placement option for children. Placement in such homes requires additional approval from the State Office Placement Division.
Notably, the reduction in funding for orphanages is a result of a massive overhaul of the foster system that occurred due to the passing of the Family First Prevention Services Act by Congress. As a result, the movement of states away from group homes accelerated.
Owing to the already occurring changes in the foster care system in addition to changes in federal law, funding for orphanages is drying up. The foster system is becoming more heavily focused on keeping children in smaller homes and with parents whenever possible.
The availability of grants changes often, but there are still government grants that are available for building orphanages.
7 Federal and State Grants for Building Orphanages in USA
- USDA Community Facilities Direct Loan & Grant Program
The United States Department of Agriculture offers grants and loans for the development of community facilities in rural areas. However, to qualify for one of these grants or loans, your orphanage will have to be organized as a not-for-profit corporation. Local USDA Rural Development offices can provide information on applying for these programs.
- Child Welfare Agency
One of the best ways to find funding is to contact your local county child welfare agency. Note that every state maintains its own resources for managing local and county child welfare agencies. To get in touch with your local agency, you first need to reach out to a state-level department.
In addition, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services maintains a list of all state-level agencies related to child welfare on its Child Welfare Information Gateway. To begin your funding search, visit the website and find your state. The state of Texas, for example, manages its child welfare through the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services.
- State Program Manager
Another alternative to reaching out broadly to the local child welfare agency is to reach out directly to those individuals charged with the state’s foster-care program. Once again, the Child Welfare Information Gateway is a valuable resource because it lists the program manager in each state. Have it in mind that these individuals may be able to provide information about funding for orphanages.
- Rural Health Information Hub
Also note that this website is a directory of rural health resources, which includes a funding section that can point you to grants.
- Children’s Welfare League of America
The Children’s Welfare League of America offers orphanage administrators a number of grant opportunities. Grant programs range from grants that can be used for building repairs to mental health grants that supply children with counselling and support. The Children’s Welfare League of America is supported by federal funding as well as private and public donations from hundreds of organizations around the country.
- National Institute of Mental Health
The National Institute of Mental Health is a part of the United States Department of Health and Human Services. They offer grants for a number of different projects, including small business grants and institutional training grants that can be awarded to group homes. Small business grant awards can be used for start-up and administrative costs, while institutional training grants are awarded to enable social workers and administrators working in group home environments to understand and deal with the problems of the children living there.
- Transitional Living/Maternity Group Homes for Runaway and Homeless Youth
The United States Administration for Children and Families sponsors the Transitional Living/Maternity Group Homes for Runaway and Homeless Youth Grant Program. Note that the program is crafted to offer state and local governments, Native American tribal organizations and non-profit organizations extra funding to establish and maintain group homes in their jurisdiction. Grants can be awarded up to $200,000 and can be used for a variety of purposes depending on the needs of the applicant.
There is a national website where various grants at the federal level can be researched. While you should try searching federal grants to cover your bases, searching state-level grants might prove more useful. But overall, your best bet is to turn to state-run child welfare organizations to direct you.