How many children, youth and families do you serve?
Through our residential services, the Children’s Home can care for around 100 children, youth and families at a time. We typically serve between 20 to 40 children at any given time through our foster homes. In addition to those served in our residential programs, hundreds of children and families are reached each year through our family preservation services, allowing us to serve more than 2,000 children — representing over 1,000 families — each year as we work to preserve and restore families. For information on our services, click here.
What are the reasons children and families need help?
Most of the children and youth placed in our residential programs are referred to us by county Department of Family and Children Services (DFCS) offices. These children and youth have been removed from their homes for various reasons and are now in the custody of the state. However, the Children’s Home also accepts private placements.
Children are removed from their homes frequently due to:
- physical, emotional or sexual abuse
- neglect or abandonment
- marital discord which has become debilitating to the family
- serious illness or death of parent(s) or caregiver
- emotional or behavioral disturbances in child or parent
- delinquent behaviors
- alcohol or drug abuse by adult caregivers
Families seek help for such problems as:
- financial or housing emergencies
- lack of parenting skills
- marital discord/breakup
- out-of-control children
- spousal abuse
- alcohol or drug issues
- other family or individual problems
Who is eligible to receive help?
Any child or family residing in the North Georgia Conference area with a need that can be met by the services of the Children’s Home is eligible to receive help. Children and families are served without regard to race, religion or national origin.
What are the ages of the children and youth in your programs?
Any child under the age of 18 is considered for our Foster Care program. Independent Living is for young people ages 17 to 21. Transitional Living is for young people 18 and over who are still in the custody of a county. That program requires that they become fully independent by age 21. Children of all ages may be served along with their parents in our family preservation services (Family Housing, Counseling, Financial Aid, etc.)
How is the Children’s Home funded?
The Home is funded through:
- gifts from individuals and organizations,
- contributions from churches, Sunday School classes and other church groups,
- interest income from our endowment,
- payments from counties for children and youth they place with us.
The county Department of Family and Children Services (DFCS) per diem is a rate set each year by the state legislature.
Our church support comes largely from one Sunday in September when United Methodist churches across North Georgia collect an offering for our ministry – the Children’s Home is NOT in the budget of the North Georgia Conference.
If you are interested in making a donation to the United Methodist Children’s Home, click here.
What percentage of your budget is spent on the children and families you serve?
The Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance’s Standards for Charity Accountability recommends that an organization spend at least 65 percent of its total expenses on program activities. UMCH meets and exceeds this goal at 79 percent. The remaining 21 percent still goes to other vitally important aspects of ministry to keep the whole organization running smoothly.
Who owns/operates the United Methodist Children’s Home?
The United Methodist Children’s Home is an agency of the North Georgia Conference of the United Methodist Church. The Home is an incorporated body operated under the direction of an elected Board of Trustees approved by the North Georgia Conference. The Conference area includes the northern half of the state above an imaginary east-to-west line that includes Augusta but not Macon and Columbus.
What are some of the needs of the Children’s Home?
In addition to the priceless gifts of time from our volunteers, a loving home from our foster parents, and prayers from everyone, we depend on financial gifts from generous and faithful people like you.
What is the Children’s Home Offering?
The Children’s Home is blessed to receive a Conference-approved offering, scheduled annually on the third Sunday in September, for the churches of the North Georgia Conference to support the ministry of the Children’s Home. If this third Sunday conflicts with the local church’s program for that day, then the church may choose another Sunday for the offering. Publicity materials are provided to each church. The offering began in 1900 and used to be called the Work Day Offering with the idea of working one day for the children; i.e., to give one day’s pay each year. Our ministry is not in the conference budget, so we depend on the Offering to contribute a significant portion of our income. We are grateful for the generosity of our United Methodist family!
Who is the Children’s Home certified by?
The United Methodist Children’s Home is certified by the state Department of Human Resources as a child placing agency and child caring institution. We have been accredited by the Council on Accreditation (COA), an international, independent, not-for-profit, child- and family-service and behavioral health care accrediting organization. We have also been accredited by the EAGLE Commission (Educational Assessment Guidelines Leading toward Excellence), an accreditation process of the United Methodist Association of Health and Welfare Ministries.
Do you have an alumni organization?
Each year a large group of alumni of the Children’s Home gathers on our Decatur campus for fellowship and reminiscing. If you are a former resident of the Home and would like to receive notice of these reunions, contact Sharon Brewer.
Can my group come tour the campus?
Yes! Tours of our beautiful campus are offered during business hours on weekdays and also on the weekends. The one-hour tours are outdoor walking tours; wear comfortable shoes and weather-appropriate attire. If you are interested in a tour, call 404-327-5820.