Big changes are underway at the United Methodist Children’s Home. The change is bittersweet as we see the end of one of the longest-running programs UMCH has offered, yet we anticipate exciting new directions and paths for our ministry to children and families.
The biggest change on campus is the phasing out of our Group Care program – our program for 12-18 year olds living in cottages on our campus. Many factors played into this difficult decision by our Board of Trustees, but ultimately it came down to: “How can we best serve children and continue to fulfill our mission of providing redemptive, healing services to children and families?”
The great news, however, is that we are serving more children than ever before through our Independent Living and Transitional Living programs, as well as in Short-term Family Housing. ILP and TLP prepare older youth in foster care for lives of independence, teaching them the valuable skills they need to be on their own. Short-term Family Housing offers housing, budget and employment counseling, and general support to families going through a financial crisis, keeping them together under one roof.
We are also seeing the growth of our Family Preservation Services – like family counseling, parenting classes and financial aid – allowing us to prevent the breakup of families and put them on a path of healing. And our Family Foster Care program is continuing to serve children throughout north Georgia in safe, loving homes.
We are in a visioning process to determine if new programs will be added to the continuum of services we offer to children and families at UMCH. We will keep you posted as those decisions are made.
If you have any questions about the changes underway at UMCH, don’t hesitate to contact either Richard Puckett or Alina Crews. You may also find helpful this sheet of frequently asked questions about the changes at UMCH.
We are truly excited about the promising things on the horizon at the United Methodist Children’s Home – allowing us to continue to offer children and families redemptive, healing services in Jesus’ name.