ANDERSON, S.C. (WSPA) – The South Carolina Department of Social Services and a non-profit organization worked together to open a new space in the Upstate for foster children.
Lily Pad founders Benjamin and Jennifer Tice opened Lily Pad #11 in Anderson.
According to Jennifer Tice, the Lily Pad is a comfortable, safe space for children and youth in foster care to distract themselves from the difficulties of their everyday life.
“Children come into care at all times of the day and night. So, if you think about a child who spent the entire evening in a hospital and then they’re able to come into the DSS office and wait for their placement, they’re still going to want a bed to sleep in or a couch that might pull down into a bed,” said Tice.
The Tice family decided to become foster and adoption parents 10 years ago because of the increased need for foster families and support.
“It’s like once we got involved, we couldn’t turn away from it. The need was so great and we knew that the need continued and we wanted to continue serving and we’ve grown our family,” said Tice.
Lily Pad along with Hands of Hope Ministries for Foster Care clean the room weekly.
Hands of Hope Ministries for Foster Care, Nicole Knapp, was once a foster child herself and said a space like this makes a difference in a child’s life even if it is for a short period of time.
“I dealt with abandonment and neglect so having a place to go where you’re loved and taught morals is a blessing for any child to be able to have a safe space,” said Knapp.
Knapp said her own experiences as a former foster child and current foster care volunteer has inspired her to help the next generation.
“I have no children of my own and I have thought about becoming a foster parent myself so that might be the next direction that I go with this volunteer service is to invite a child into my own home,” said Knapp.
There are now 13 Lily Pad locations around South Carolina. To view before and after pictures of every furnished Lily Pad, click here.