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A Wisconsin family’s dedication to care for kids in our community

A Sheboygan family has accepted their calling to provide critical care to kids who need it the most.

13833114_10153566036500947_134788181_oCori Salchert, her husband Mark, and their eight children have opened their hearts and home to provide treatment foster care to "hospice babies"—infants with a life-limiting diagnosis who are in need of a loving home.

Cori had already known she had a passion for helping families cope with the loss of a pregnancy or newborn from her experience as a registered nurse and a perinatal bereavement specialist for the Hope After Loss Organization (HALO). When she recognized that hospice infants could spend their short lives without the kind of love and attention she wanted to provide, she felt compelled to get involved. The Salchert family connected with the treatment foster care program at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, which matches kids with moderate to severe emotional, behavioral, physical or medical challenges to foster parents who are able to provide home-based care in a safe and nurturing environment.

The Salchert family began their inspiring journey in 2012 when they brought home two-week-old Emmalynn, who was born without the right or left hemisphere of her brain. Emmalynn lived for 50 days with her new family, and they were by her side when she passed. The Salcherts were heartbroken and took time to heal before considering taking in another baby. In 2014, the family decided they were ready to help another child in need, and were soon matched with Charlie.

731 Cori SalchertCharlie has many medical challenges resulting from Hypoxic Ischemic Brain Encephalopathy, which involves oxygen deprivation to the brain causing neurological impairments. Charlie depends on a ventilator and tube feeding due to his life-limiting diagnosis, and his medical needs require a routine of care — which the Salchert family quickly adjusted to. They adopted Charlie late last year, and are thankful for every day they can make a difference in how he lives.

Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin is proud to offer treatment foster care services throughout Wisconsin. Treatment foster care provides homes for children with a wide range of medical needs—most of which are not life-ending conditions like Emmalynn and Charlie—as well as healthy kids with behavioral or emotional needs. Our families determine the type of children they are best suited to care for so we can connect kids with the family that can support their specific needs.

Your donation can help support our work in the community

At any given time there are kids in need of care, help, or homes in Wisconsin. Which is why Children’s takes a multifaceted approach to reaching Wisconsin’s most at-risk children in the communities where they live, learn and play — whether that be through child advocacy, child and family counseling, foster care and adoption services, better access to primary care, or initiatives focused on family support and preservation. So much of what we do to reach families beyond our hospital and clinic walls wouldn’t be possible without your support.

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