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 30 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 continuum of family preservation services, allowing us to serve more than 2,300 children — representing over 1,300 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.
How is the Children’s Home funded?
The Home is funded through:
- contributions from churches, Sunday School classes and other church groups
- gifts from individuals and organizations
- interest income from our endowment
- payments from counties for children placed by them
The county Department of Family and Children Services (DFCS) per diem is a rate set each year by the state legislature. The Work Day Offering in September is an opportunity for all United Methodists to support the Children’s Home though their churches. The Children’s Home is NOT in the budget of the North Georgia Conference. Individuals and groups may make designated gifts for specific areas, such as Cornerstone Club donors who support capital needs of the Home. 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 81 percent. The remaining 19 percent still goes to other vitally important aspects of ministry: running the whole organization smoothly in the Administration department, and maintaining our community connections and raising money to further the agency in the Public Relations and Development department.
Who owns/operates the United Methodist Children’s Home?
The United Methodist Children’s Home is owned by 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?
Donations are always appreciated, as are volunteers. In addition, we have information on our ongoing needs list, which provides ideas for individuals and groups wanting to donate items.
What is the Children’s Home Work Day Offering?
Work Day is 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 promotes working one day for the Children’s Home; i.e., to give one day’s pay each year.
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 Karen Norris.
Can my group come tour the campus?
Yes! Tours of our campus are offered during business hours on weekdays and also on the weekends. Tours last approximately an hour; wear comfortable shoes. If you are interested in a tour, contact Alina Crews. Click here for more information about our campus.