Health Foundation News

Health Foundation’s Grants Empower Youth through Community Support

The Highlands Cashiers Health Foundation is making a significant impact on the lives of at-risk youth in Western North Carolina. By providing grants to innovative programs within HIGHTS and Jackson County Department of Social Services, the Health Foundation is supporting juvenile justice involved youth and those in foster care. These initiatives aim to address the needs of vulnerable children, reduce placement disruptions, and enhance mental health services accessibility, ultimately transforming lives for a better future.

The Health Foundation’s grant to HIGHTS is creating an opportunity to employ a licensed therapist who will work closely with the Department of Juvenile Justice and community restorative justice programs across the six western counties and Qualla Boundary. By integrating with these organizations, this therapist will provide much-needed support for juvenile justice involved youth and their families.

Recognizing that youth within the juvenile justice system are at the highest risk of community violence, substance misuse, and self-harm, HIGHTS has made it their mission to address these challenges head-on. With the Health Foundation’s support, HIGHTS aims to inspire trust in these youths’ abilities, build connections with a caring community, and nurture hope for a better future.

In another innovative collaboration, the Health Foundation is providing a grant to the Jackson County Department of Social Services (DSS) to establish a therapist position aimed at serving children in foster care. This innovative program aims to enhance cooperation between Jackson County DSS and HIGHTS, ensuring a timely assessment of children entering foster care and determining the most suitable mental health care and services for each child.

Furthermore, the trained therapist will provide valuable training, education, and support to foster parents, cultivating a nurturing environment that helps reduce placement disruptions. Jackson County DSS is focused on expanding the number of available foster families, minimizing the need for multiple relocations, and improving the accessibility and utilization of vital mental health services for this group.

By transforming the lives of at-risk youth through trust, connection, and hope, the Health Foundation and its grant programs through HIGHTS and Jackson County DSS are building stronger communities and empowering the next generation.

Through these initiatives, Highlands Cashiers Health Foundation is demonstrating its commitment to promoting a caring and vibrant future for the region’s youth and shaping a path toward a better future for the community.

For more information about HIGHTS, visit

For more information about Jackson County Department of Social Services, visit


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