Florida United Methodist Children’s Home
By Linda Frybarger & JoAnn Burkhart
Why do children come to live at Florida United Methodist Children?s home?
Children come because of sexual abuse, other physical abuse and abandonment or because of family breakdown due to divorce, drug abuse, illness or death of a parent. There may be neglect or conflicts that have made a normal family life impossible. A majority of referrals now come from family, schools, courts or other agencies. Each child is evaluated to see if the program of the Home can be of help.
What is the life of a child like at the Home?
Children live in one of twelve cottages. Each dwelling has a therapeutic capacity of eight residents and their cottage parents. No more than two residents share a room. Meals are prepared by members of the cottage as a ?family? group. Menus are supervised by a dietician to ensure that a wholesome, balanced diet is available. Residents share chores in the cottages and are responsible for their own rooms.
What religious opportunities are available?
The religious life is vital to the program of the Home. Residents and cottage parents regularly attend Sunday morning chapel and Wednesday night vespers. A full time chaplain is part of the Home?s staff. Many of the children share in leadership for the Sunday morning service through leading worship, taking part in special music or serving as ushers or acolytes. Residents use their tithes and offerings to support mission projects beyond the campus. By learning of and responding to the needs of others, the residents learn to care for themselves. The residents have the opportunity to commit themselves to a God who loves them and seeks to guide them to a full life.
Where do the residents of the Home attend school?
Campus residents’ ages range from 5 to 18 and they are enrolled in local public schools from kindergarten through high school or junior college. A highly trained educator, who is a staff member, evaluates each incoming resident to make the proper placement in school. Tutoring is available to help each student. Cottage study time is a regular part of each school day.