The Florida United Methodist Children’s Home does a lot more than just provide children a place to live.
We ensure they get good medical care, nourishing food, proper clothes, and education. We give them counseling, lots of love, attention, and a positive lifestyle. We help them develop their skills. And we work hard to share with them a childhood that’s as normal as possible under very difficult circumstances. But the most important thing we give them is hope: we teach them about Jesus Christ and how He died for them so that they may have Everlasting Life. In short, we provide for their physical, emotional, social and spiritual needs.
The Children’s Home has two Residential Care facilities, commonly called “campuses.” We have our Central Florida Campus in Enterprise and our North Florida Campus in Madison County. Our Central Florida Campus features an Independent Living Program and Emergency Shelter.
“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” Psalm 34:18
Our campuses serve school-age boys and girls in group-living, family-style residences, which we sometimes refer to as “homes.” Typically, there are bedrooms for one or two children in each, a family room, living room, dining room, kitchen and laundry room. Each residence accommodates up to ten children at a time.
Some of the children who live with us come from homes where: 1) they were victimized by neglect or by physical, sexual or emotional abuse, (2) they were caught up in a family crisis, dysfunction or turmoil, (3) they were abandoned or orphaned, or (4) their parents/guardians could not care for them, for any number of reasons.
Pictured below is the Bell Cottage in Enterprise named for the benefactors who provided the financial support to build it. The cottage is designed to house eight children in a family style setting. It also provides separate quarters for house parents.
We carefully select our child care workers to be the right people doing the right things at the right time in the children’s lives. We look for role models — nurturing, compassionate men and women who will provide the children with Christian love and limits, all in a stable and safe home. We look for devoted, patient people who will be there for the children when they need someone to talk to, a shoulder to cry on, a hand to grasp, a word of encouragement, a healing smile, hope for the future.
The Children’s Home selects its residents based on their need, and our ability to help them. If we can’t help — if their needs are beyond our scope or capacity (examples: physical or mental handicaps, drug/alcohol dependency, delinquency, etc.) — we recommend other social service agencies or professional practitioners.
As part of the protocols for the National Lunch Program, the Children’s Home maintains a Wellness Program policy that addresses nutritional education and guidelines as well as physical activity goals for residents and staff. To learn more, visit our Wellness Program Policy and the Wellness Committee Meeting Triennial Assessment.
The decision to seek residential placement for a child is often difficult and challenging.
The Admissions Department strives to serve children and families by providing information, assessments and referrals to other providers when appropriate. Our goal is to insure that your child’s needs are met in the least restrictive environment.
The Children’s Home does not discriminate. This includes discrimination based on disability, e.g., hearing and vision impairment, or language barriers.
The Process for Admission into our Residential Program is Outlined Below:
- Our Admission process begins with your first call to us or when we receive your completed Screening Application. The information that you provide to us helps to determine if we should schedule an assessment or refer to another provider that would support the child remaining in your home. An assessment is scheduled with our staff who will work closely with you in preparing your child for admission to the Children’s Home.
- A Financial Assessment is another necessary step in our Admission process. Once this information is returned to us, you will be contacted by a member of our Finance Department to discuss payment arrangements.
- A campus tour is conducted at the completion of the assessment, giving you and your child an opportunity to see our campus and visit one of our homes. This tour allows your child to meet staff and to have a more “concrete” picture of what home life might be like. Taking the tour of our campus generally answers any questions that children may have about coming to the Children’s Home. Please email Placements, Placements@fumch.org or call 386-668-4774 to schedule an admission tour.
- An admission date is scheduled as soon as there is an opening in the home that is best suited to meet your child’s needs. Our Admissions Department will ask that you assist us by providing certain documents in order to transition your child into his or her new school. These documents include, but are not limited to: a copy of birth certificate, social security card, immunization records, etc. A complete list of documents that are needed will be provided to you at the conclusion of the campus tour.
The Admissions Department encourages you to contact us if you have any questions about our programs.