Peter and Julie Bartolini are the founders of Firm Foundation Youth Homes. Peter has spent the last 25 years working with and advocating for children who come from hard places. In 2004, Peter and Julie became foster parents through Christian Family Care and have had over 30 kids placed in their home. Since 2001, Peter has worked with Royal Family Kids’ Camp and Hope & a Future, putting on week-long summer camps and a life-skills mentoring program for kids who are in foster care. Peter also is a speaker and trainer for Family Matters, a national ministry that helps parents raise truly great kids. Julie is a trained practitioner for Trust-Based Relational Intervention® (TBRI®). Peter and Julie are currently raising 6 kids ranging in age from 8 to 24.
In 2010, while fostering a 16-year-old, Peter and Julie became aware of the how group homes worsened the relational trauma foster kids experience and the need for a better solution. We purchase our first home, Gigi’s Cottage, in November 2015 and then in July 2016 we were awarded a contract with the Department of Child Safety (DCS) and welcomed our first kids. In addition to operating our children’s home, we also train and educate professionals, volunteers, and foster families to connect more relationally with the children under their care.
It's important to consider that Peter & Julie are average people who simply recognized a problem and, noticing no one was providing a better option, decided to do something about it. At Gigi's Cottage, Firm Foundation Youth Homes is building a replicable model for how to care for kids in congregate care. State agencies cannot mandate relational healing. Moreover, implementing the Trust-Based Relational Intervention model of care is challenging for caregivers and requires lots of support, encouragement, and training. If you would like help establishing a similar model of care in your home, please contact us.
Firm Foundation Youth Homes is non-profit by design. Kids need more than what our state governments are able to provide. Foster care is a community-based problem, we have created a community-based solution.