Group Homes (Locations in Florence, Scottsboro, Tuscaloosa, and Headland, Alabama, & Milton and Crestview, Florida) - The Children who live in our Group Homes cannot live with their own families. Often this is because of abuse, neglect or abandonment.
The children placed into Residential Group Care are likely those who are challenged with mild to moderate emotional and/or behavioral problems. They come from varied socioeconomic, cultural and religious backgrounds to live and to learn in a healthy, nurturing home environment.
Each child follows an individualized plan of care developed by our qualified caregivers. The goals of the plan are to increase self-reliance, emotional stability, spiritual growth, and interpersonal competence. Each home can care for six to eight children between the ages of 11 and 18. In some cases we can take them at younger ages, for instance to keep sibling groups together.
When it is safe to do so, we make every effort to involve family members in the children's lives and ultimately help transition them back into their own homes. When this is not possible, we work with the community to provide opportunities for family involvement outside of the group home.
We receive children into our care through a variety of referral sources. Private placements are made sometimes from families, counselors or church contacts, and other potential sources. Each case is evaluated individually to determine fees. Also, state and county child welfare offices place children with us, and we receive contractual fees which cover some of the costs of care.
Private gifts are vital to this program. Many families who place children privately are only able to pay a fraction of the cost of care. And the funds we receive for state government-placed children often pay less than half of what we need to give these children what they truly need to heal and to succeed--and a nurturing home where they feel loved.
Typically, the youngsters in our care are between the ages of 6 and 19, and most have mild to moderate emotional and/or behavior problems. Children who are psychotic, homicidal or suicidal, or who have been adjudicated delinquent, are not considered for residential group care. They may be considered more appropriately for one of our other programs.
Transitional Living Program (Locations in Headland, Mobile, and Tuscaloosa, AL) - Many children who are old enough to leave group homes or foster care may have minimal, if any, support from their natural families. Consequently they can find themselves unprepared for the pressures and responsibilities of adult life.
Through our Transitional Living Program, the Children's Home continues in its role as a surrogate parent, providing financial assistance as well as guidance to young adults who are trying to create a life plan. The goal of the program is to teach them the skills that they need to live successfully on their own.
The program provides an opportunity for our youth to practice independent living skills in an apartment setting. Before moving into transitional living, a resident must have completed specific instruction in budgeting, seeking and maintaining employment, household management, problem solving approaches, and relationship skills. Each resident must have also demonstrated an acceptable level of maturity and growth, defined reasonable goals for independence, demonstrated an appropriate level of responsibility, and consistently exhibited positive behaviors.
Residents in this program establish checking accounts, buy their own food, prepare meals, and make arrangements for their own transportation. Each resident must work full- or part-time in addition to attending college or vocational school. He or she is responsible for paying rent and utilities, cable, and telephone bills. No alcohol, tobacco, or drugs are allowed on the premises. Residents are required to meet with staff on a weekly basis to review plans and progress.
Young adults between the age of 17 and 21 who have completed high school or received a GED are eligible. High school seniors who are beginning their second semester may be considered.
Referrals to this program should be directed to the group home supervisor. See our Service Area Map for contact information.
(Locations in Birmingham, and Mobile, AL)
This program provides residential group care for up to four mothers and their babies. The long term goals of this program are:
- To strengthen the bond between the mother and child
- To build self-esteem and pride
- To promote economic self-reliance
- To prevent repeat pregnancies while single
- To nurture or reestablish links to the family
- To help young mothers function at their full potential
Short term goals include meeting the day-to-day basic needs of both mother and child while offering them a safe, loving environment in which to live and grow. Our live-in house parents are available at all times to assist the young mothers in the proper care of their infants. The care of the child is primarily the responsibility of the mother, but our caring staff is there to support her in every way.
Our experienced, professional and licensed staff supervises the program, and assists with counseling, educational programs, evaluations and long-term planning. Volunteers can be used as mentors for the mothers.
We can consider for admission girls who are pregnant or have a young child. Though ages at each location vary, mothers are usually ages 14 to 20. Children can be age 0 to 4 or older in some cases. We take them in because their needs cannot be adequately met through families or other out-of-home placements.
To refer a young mother or mother-to-be, contact the Babies First program location near you (See Service Area Map).