Several local and state officials visited the Methodist Home for Children (MHC) on Tuesday for its bi-annual luncheon at its main facility.
Since 2008 the MHC program in Macon County has been providing a multipurpose home that serves youth who are mandated by the courts to receive residential care. It is also the only multipurpose home serving atrisk youth west of Raleigh. The advantage of the facility is its progressive, rehabilitative and interventional approach to juvenile delinquency, explained MHC President Bruce Stanley, who attended the event.
“This is a program that gives values-based care and teaches skills to [youth] for the real world,” said Stanley, commenting that the rehabilitative care offered by MHC is an advanced and far-reaching deterrent to juvenile offender recidivism. “Students are given individual treatment plans tailored to them… And the case is never closed. We see them through to college.”
In fact, along with core classes, the students (between the ages of 12 and 17) at the facility are taught subjects as varied as Latin, chess, and classic literature.
Along with a lunch provided by Fat Buddies, tours of the facility were given while students showed off their curriculum to the visitors.
Among those in attendance were Rep. Phil Haire, County Commissioner Ronnie Beale, Macon County Child Protective Services Supervisor Brian Vogl and Department of Juvenile Justice Community Programs official Teresa Price.
“I’ve always been pleased with the students and staff at this place because there are so many things that you get here to become very special,” said Haire to the students, who in his last term, was able to save the home in 2010 from the budgetary axe of Raleigh. “You’ve done well, and that’s what it’s all about,” he said, thanking the students for their hard work.
“On behalf of the citizens of Macon County, I would like to thank you all for what you do here at this home,” said Beale, who has advocated for the home in recent years. “It is successful and we’re very proud of it. It’s a great investment and pays great dividends and if the county can help, then it will.”
As a rule, multipurpose juvenile homes are designed to provide long term, non-secure residential care, focusing on behavioral education and therapy, as an alternative to secure detention and youth development centers.
Since 1889, the Methodist Home for Children (MHC) has provided care for at-risk youth in North Carolina, offering foster and adoption services, family preservation, substance abuse counseling, gang prevention and residential multipurpose home facilities. MHC currently has seven residential group homes, most located in the eastern part of North Carolina.