One of our great Georgia Baptist treasures is the Georgia Baptist Children’s Homes and Family Ministries. I am very thankful for the leadership of Dr. Kenneth Thompson who serves as the president and chief executive officer of our Children’s Homes. Dr. Thompson is doing a great job providing outstanding leadership.
The Children’s Home Offering will be received on Mother’s Day in our churches across Georgia. This ministry both needs and deserves our enthusiastic support. When you see the expansiveness of this remarkable ministry in what I am about to share with you, I trust you will want to give a generous offering on Mother’s Day.
Georgia Baptist Children’s Homes and Family Ministries, Inc. is one of the oldest and largest child care agencies in Georgia. This wonderful ministry has been reaching out to hurting children and broken families since 1872 and serves hundreds of children and families each year.
Hope and healing is provided for those who need a place of safety and shelter.
During the Great Depression, when Cooperative Program funds were stretched, it was mutually agreed that the Children’s Homes and Family Ministries would raise their own support. Funding that is essential to this vital ministry comes from churches, individuals, businesses, and foundations.
The various ministries offered include:
Campus Residential Programs, providing residential care for troubled children, youth, and families. Christ-centered programing is located on three campuses in Baxley, Meansville, and Palmetto.
Group Home Residential Care, located in local communities, have the capacity to serve 5 to 10 children. These homes are generally established and supported by community groups who have recognized the need for residential care for abused and neglected children in the local area.
Maternity Care, which is one of the unique ministries at the Georgia Baptist Children’s Home, gives teen mothers-to-be a safe place to live while receiving medical care, spiritual counseling, parenting classes, continuing education classes, and most importantly, hope.
Camp Hawkins, a summer residential camp for young people ages 8-21, helps campers cope with varying developmental disabilities such as Cerebral Palsy, Down Syndrome, Attention Deficit Disorders, Learning Disorders, Autism, brain injuries, and/or other developmental issues. This camp serves up to 20 campers each week. The staff-to-camper ratio is one-to-one and includes registered nurses who are on site at all times.
Dual Diagnosis Program serves children and youth who have a diagnosis of mental/behavioral issues as well as a developmental disability. There are only two such residential programs in the State of Georgia.
Victory Program provides residential recovery for girls ages 12-17 who are victims of human trafficking.
Good Shepherd Therapeutic Center, located in Warm Springs, Georgia, is a farm-based residential program for boys providing both short and long-term care. It also offers a therapeutic and recreational riding program for children, youth and adults coping with a variety of disabilities.
Community Counseling Centers offer a full range of coordinated behavioral health and community support services that include individual counseling, family counseling, psychiatric services, nursing services and pharmacological services. Located on the three residential campuses, these services are provided to the children, their families, and residents of the outlying communities.
Foster Care is a great need with 13,000 children in the foster care system in Georgia. As a licensed Foster Care Child Placement Agency in the State of Georgia our Children’s Homes provide care and a safe place for Georgia children in desperate need of a loving place to call home.
Respite Services are offered through the Good Shepherd Center. It is open to children in residential care, foster care, or those who receive in-home services and meet requirements for respite care. Offering a variety of outdoor activities, these services provide a break from the daily routine and help stabilize current placement.
Family Care Program is designed to assist mothers and their children who have been displaced from their homes due to domestic violence. Offerings include counseling, shelter, food, clothing, location of employment for the mothers, and education for the children.
Your generous gift to the Children’s Home Offering on Mother’s Day will go a long way to the continuation of these remarkable ministries of the Georgia Baptist Children’s Homes and Family Ministries.