New Perspectives - Jun,
1999 Issue #58
United Methodist Children’s Home
Kay Phillips, Intake Coordinator
The United Methodist Children’s Home offers two kinds of programs that provide
spiritual, social and educational opportunities for youth. They provide residential Group care at the Children’s Village in Selma
and in-group homes in Scottsboro, Huntsville, Florence, Mobile, Pensacola and Dothan. These programs are for youngsters between the
ages of 6 and 18 with mild to moderate emotional and/or behavior problems who are unable to live in their own homes. Children who
are psychotic, homicidal or suicidal, or who have been adjudicated delinquent are not considered for residential group care.
In these programs, approximately six to eight adolescents from varied socioeconomic,
cultural, and religious backgrounds live and learn together in a family-like atmosphere. When reunification is possible, every effort
is made to involve family members in the program. When children cannot return to their families, visiting resources are utilized to
provide opportunities for family involvement outside of the group home. Community resources such as medical facilities, remedial education
programs, and mental health services are used as needed. All residents attend public schools and local United Methodist churches,
and are encouraged to participate in the extra curricular opportunities that are made available to them.
Therapeutic group care is offered in the Birmingham Children’s Home. The
purpose of this program is to provide a safe, functional environment for children between the ages of 12 and 18 who have usually been
physically or sexually abused, neglected or abandoned, and are exhibiting problematic behaviors. These children are primarily referred
by the Jefferson County Department of Human Resources, although private referrals are also accepted. Individual treatment plans are
developed and implemented by five residential childcare workers, a social worker, and a program supervisor. Residents can attend either
public school or the school located on the premises, depending on the child’s needs. The Birmingham Children’s Home emphasizes reunification
and helps to locate and work with various family members. Other services include resource procurement, family counseling, child advocacy,
systematic training for effective parenting, behavior support in the home or school, referrals to other agencies, court reports and
court attendance, and coordination of meetings and appointments. A program for delinquent boys is offered in Tuscaloosa and therapeutic
foster care is available in 15 counties.
In these homes, residents live and learn together in a family-like atmosphere.
Emphasis is placed on teaching problem solving skills, enhancing self-esteem, and using Christian principles in everyday living. Counseling,
tutoring, and preparation for independent living are key components of most programs. While these are therapeutic programs with psychiatric
services available, these are not longer term, treatment programs.
These programs are licensed by the Alabama Department of Human Resources,
the Alabama Department of Youth Services, and the Florida Department of Children and Families. They are private pay, referral programs.
Tuition is based a sliding scale, determined by calculating income after necessary expenses are deducted.
Copyright © 1999, Woodbury Reports, Inc. (This article may be reproduced
without prior approval if the copyright notice and proper publication and author attribution accompanies the copy.)