Have you ever noticed that one of Disney’s most prevalent themes in its movies is the separation of children from their parents? Bambi, Dumbo, Finding Nemo, Pinocchio, and the Lion King… All reach children at a primal level because they access every child’s fear of being away from the protection of their parents and their home (what they know as familiar).
This universal fear is something with which we all identify. It is a very real part of the lives of many children as they find themselves thrust into the foster care system. Children who have been abused or born into homes where addictions and other mental health conditions have inflicted sexual and physical abuse, severe neglect, and filth. These are the children who find their way into our group homes.
From a distance these children are “foster kids” and nothing more, but the Children’s Village works daily with the kids who have lived with abuse, pain, neglect, and abandonment. With the compassionate help of our supporters, we can address the challenges of caring for these truly special children.
Our commitment to these children is not just to provide them with a place to live and food to eat, but to help each child achieve their potential by providing them a structured, nurturing, and normalized environment which meets their specific needs.
To accomplish this, we have developed a structured program where we have carefully selected professional House-Parent Managers that provide a 24/7 family-style living environment for children from 3 to 18 years of age. Our children are cared for by our staff just as they would by any other parent - wake them in the morning, prepare breakfast, get them ready and off to school, pick them up in the afternoons, have a snack, and help them with their homework. We strive to provide as “normal” of a home life as possible, so the children are encouraged to participate in organized sports and community events such as church festivals and school events. A key and important feature of our model is the low child-to-adult ratio within each home that allows for a more individualized care of each child’s needs. We are committed to the care of the whole child and provide each and every child with quality medical care and dental visits, as well as counseling when needed.
As a state-licensed facility, we work closely with Child Protective Services and currently only provide short-term transitional care for children referred from state agencies and courts.
Although our children come to us from various ethnic backgrounds and socio-economic groups, they merge here into a unique “family” that works together, has fun together, and learns to persevere together in spite of difficulties to overcome the fear of the unknown. Children are often not reunited with their original families and even become available for adoption. Our hope is that their Children’s Village experience will give them the best opportunity for success as they make their transition into their adoptive homes.
We recently had three siblings who had lived at our Children’s Village and were wonderfully moving to their “forever home” interviewed by a local television reporter. The children’s caseworker noted during the interview that “The children wanted a family that went to church just like their group home.” What better affirmation from those with whom we serve.
Watch the actual KVOA Channel 4 news segment that aired below.
Please contact the Coordinator of Public Relations at (520) 322-9557 to schedule a tour for individuals or groups who would like to assist in this much needed service and ministry for our community’s children.