Family Preservation Recovery Starts Here
The Family Care Center (FCC) is a residential facility for mothers with substance use disorders. In a safe and comfortable environment, mothers and their children live together while working towards long-term recovery and family strengthening.
Family Care, not Group Care
Children who are placed at Epworth in the Family Care Center with their mothers are approved as an exception in the Michelle H. consent decree.
Children who are placed at Epworth in the Family Care Center are not considered to be placed in a group home. Children and mothers have the dual advantages of not being separated from one another, and receive the needed structure and individually designed services that a quality group home can provide.
The Epworth FCC is the only program of its kind in South Carolina. Mothers and their children live together in the FCC Cottage on Epworth’s campus and receive treatment as a whole family. Issues of addiction, abuse, neglect, trauma, parenting skills and child development are addressed through counseling, education and training. The philosophy of care is to link experienced residential care providers with community-based alcohol and drug treatment providers. Addiction treatment programs are contracted with the Lexington Richland Alcohol and Drug Abuse Council (LRADAC). The goal is to provide holistic service to the family unit that result in more successful recoveries and family preservation.
Providing Comprehensive Care
Each family is assigned a case manager who works with family members, DSS case workers and other providers to advocate for and work in the best interest of the mother and child(ren). The case manager is easily accessible. Their office is located on-site, inside the FCC so children and mothers build trust through daily conversations and encouragement. In addition to the FCC staff, Epworth provides access to a full range of professional programs and staff to facilitate comprehensive care including confidential counseling services, educational support, basic medical care, spiritual guidance, and recreational activities.
Dedication to Excellence
The Family Care Center is located on the Epworth Children’s Home campus in the heart of Columbia. In addition to the FCC, the 32-acre campus provides residential care to children with nationally accredited, comprehensive care needed to overcome traumatic childhood experiences and transform their lives. The campus includes nine cottages staffed 24/7 by trained and caring adults. All residential staff utilize evidence based practices to teach basic life skills appropriate for each age group. Epwortj uses CARE (Children and Residential Experiences) childcare philosophy, developed by Cornell University. The model teaches childcare staff to work in the best interest of children and create conditions for positive change while in residential care.
The Family-Focused Difference
The Family Care Center does more than provide safety, shelter and meals. Each family receives individualized comprehensive care – physical, educational, spiritual and emotional – to transform lives and create hopeful futures. Some service highlights of the Family Care Center include:
- Healthy Relationships: Parenting skills development; Facilities and supervision provided for visitation by extended family
- Recovery Mindful Living Practices/Spirituality: On-Campus Case Manager assigned to each family; On-Campus Pastor and faith formation activities.
- Life Skills, Leisure and Recreational Health: Money Management, Family Dinners and Activities; On-Campus gymnasium; swimming pool (with a certified life guard)
- Nutrition and Wellness: On-Campus Health Center with a 24-hr medical support staff; Transportation to clinical, medical, dental and vision appointments; USDA approved nutritious snack and meal options
- Educational/Vocational Services: GED Services; On-Campus child care; Award winning local schools (Brennen Elementary, Hand Middle, Dreher High); After school tutorial and summer enrichment programs.
During the 3-year pilot phase of this program, 70% of families successfully completed the 6-month program and achieved family preservation.
Who We Serve
The Department of Social Services (DSS) refers to the FCC a mother who is:
- At risk of her child(ren) being removed from her care and into foster care because the primary contributing risk factor is abusing legal or illegal substances.
- Intent that her child will live with her and receive family counseling services.
- Willing to sign a Voluntary Placement Agreement for children with the Department of Social Services.
- At least 18 years of age.
- Willing to adhere to program rules and guidelines.