Do you know a parent who is isolated or who is facing a crisis?

We help families to stay intact and to thrive.

Support that we can provide

Child Hosting

Volunteer host families temporarily care for children from a few days to several months while a parent stabilizes their situation.

Community Friend

Connect parents with a friend who can listen, care, and encourage.

Day Hosting

Scheduled, occasional care of children so a parent can attend medical treatments or appointments, go to a job interview, etc.

Common reasons parents are referred

  • a parent needing to be hospitalized or needing a surgery, to give birth, a medical treatment, etc.
  • a parent needing to stabilize their mental/emotional health
  • feeling overwhelmed and needing supportive community
  • experiencing homelessness or unemployment
  • needing temporary child care support after leaving a domestic violence relationship
  • needing temporary child care support while working on a long-term childcare solution

Would you like to refer a parent?

Call our support line: 704-900-0150

(Monday-Thursday: 9am-5pm, Friday: 9am-2pm)
Or click below to fill out our Refer a Family form

We serve families in these locations:

  • The greater Charlotte, NC area
  • The greater Asheville, NC area

Refer a Family

Would you like to learn more about Alongside Families?

We would be happy to set up a time to share with you about referring to Alongside Families and to answer your questions. We're available to present to staff teams or to have a one-on-one coffee to share more about how we can support the families that you serve. Please fill out the form below to let us know how to best connect with you.

Quick Facts

How does Alongside Families hosting work?

After a support line referral is received and determined to be an appropriate fit, we work quickly to match children with a Host Family (click here to see our model in action). A volunteer Family Coach monitors children in the host home, and a volunteer Parent Ally helps the parent set and meet their goals. Our Family Care Manager supervises volunteers to ensure safety and excellence in service.

Why Alongside Families?

  • Preventative vs. Reactive: families receive help before abuse or neglect occurs
  • A non-coercive, 100% voluntary way for parents to ask for help
  • Increases social capital: Neighbors help neighbors, and lasting relationships form

Ages served & return home

Children ages 0-17 can be hosted. In some cases we are able to host young adults 18-21 years old, including mothers with infants. Approximately 99% of children are reunified with their parent when hosting ends.

Length of stay

Our average child hosting lasts for 4 weeks, but the length of stay is based on the specific needs of each family and can range from a few days to several months.

Host Family screening

Host Families are thoroughly screened with background checks & fingerprinting, character references, training, a home safety evaluation, and a family interview. They are unpaid volunteers within local partner churches who want to love their neighbors and champion family preservation.

Parent dignity and choice

Parents maintain full custody, are honored as the primary decision-maker, and can request that their child return home whenever they wish. We are committed to children being back home with their parent(s) as soon as possible. We do not provide substitute parenting-- we provide supplemental care. We seek to serve like a grandma or aunt would during a difficult time. Parents visit their children weekly, and often text Host Families and have video calls with their children daily.

When can Alongside Families not provide support?

  • As mandated reporters, Alongside Families always defers to child protective services if there is suspicion of abuse or neglect. In compliance with DHHS of North Carolina, Alongside Families cannot provide hosting if a parent is being investigated for abuse or neglect or if a child is in the custody of a local Department of Social Services.
  • We are unable to host if a child has severe behavioral or medical concerns that cannot be safely managed in a family-like setting. Children with some concerns may be considered if an experienced Host Family is available, depending on the severity. Child exclusion criteria includes: active suicidal or homicidal behavior, a history of sexual or physical aggression, serious mental health concerns not responding to medication, or a child is in need of substance abuse treatment.
  • We are unable to host if we are unable to obtain consent from one or both parents who have legal custody.
  • If you are unsure if a family is a fit for Alongside Families, please reach out to us! We are happy to discuss with you.