DUNBAR, W.Va. — The foster care services formerly known as Braley & Thompson is celebrating its new brand identity, StepStone Family and Youth Services.

The foster services organization held a ribbon cutting ceremony at its Dunbar location Wednesday afternoon to welcome the name change.

StepStone Family and Youth Services Executive Director Andrea Blankinship said while they may be identifying themselves as something different now, their mission of providing foster care services and supporting area youth in the Mountain State remains the same.

“The services are still there, the team is still the same team that provided the quality, the trauma-informed care, and delivered the services before the re-branding,” Blankinship told MetroNews.

She said as part of the national StepStone organization now, they are provided with more resources that will help build upon and expand the services they already offer.

Blankinship said, however, they already offer a continuum of services. Along with offering residential care for children who are unable to safely remain in a home with biological family, they also provide counseling services, potential foster parent training, and family preservation services.

She said their main objective is to always try and get the children back with their families before anything else.

“Every child that comes into foster care, our goal is to re-unify them with their biological families that we’re doing the engagement work with to keep that child in the least-restrictive environment where they can safely and healthily develop,” she said.

According to data from a recent report conducted by the West Virginia Center on Budget Policy, West Virginia has four times as many kids in the foster care system per capita than any other state in the country.

Blankinship said because of the overflowing system, the services they provide is crucial in the state.

“Right now we have over 6,000 kids in foster care and in out-of-home care, so our goal is to find families who can provide safe and nurturing environments for these children who are in need,” said Blankenship.

StepStone also provides services specifically geared for young adults who are making the transition out of the foster care system to independent living by providing them with personalized guidance and training on basic life skills.

You can visit them on their website for more information about all of the services they offer and how to become a foster parent.