Methodist Children's Home and the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services
partner to create innovative foster care program
Vernon, February 10, 2006 - The United Methodist Children's Home (UMCH), in collaboration
with the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS), has announced
the implementation of the Family Supported Foster Care Program. Over the last
5-6 years, child welfare workers have witnessed a dramatic increase in the need
for specialized services for foster children ages 12-16; DCFS and UMCH are joining
forces to provide services to this unique target group.
very proud of the efforts by UMCH and DCFS in developing this program," said
DCFS Southern Region Administrator Bill Peyton. "With the Department adopting
a lifetime approach to caring for children that come to us, this is a concrete
step toward helping children facing the challenges of becoming adolescents."
medical and mental health services will be the cornerstone of care for children
placed in this program. When it reaches capacity, the program will be staffed
by 10 Professional Foster Parents, two Case Managers, two Therapists, a Licensing
Representative and a Case Aide. The effort is being lead by Mini Hope-Kimble who
has 15 years of experience in the field of social services. To date, four licensed
foster homes have been approved for the program and two children have been placed
"What is unique about this foster care program is that
our foster parents are a critical member of the team caring for the child, "
said Clete Winkelmann, President/CEO of United Methodist Children's Home. "They
are experienced experts in caring for adolescents and will be a partner in the
decision-making process. In return, our professional foster parents will receive
a salary, benefits and tremendous support, in addition to a monthly board stipend."
Professional Foster Parent Cecelia Rogers was asked to describe her parenting
style and how it would apply to the program, she said, "I parent with purpose!
The kids in this program need that extra special dedication and determination
that is required with purposeful parenting." In addition, after having been
in his new foster home since mid-December, a 15-year-old-boy recently stated,
"This is the best foster home I have ever been in. I am having an awesome
time and love taking care of the horses."
experienced foster parents are needed to provide a consistent, nurturing and stable
environment for teens. If you are interested in exploring this opportunity, please
contact Mrs. Kimble at 618/242-1070, extension 240.
Kim McMorris, 312-814-6847