Residential Services Program

Serving Children, Youth & Families

Epworth Children’s Home residential care program serves children ages 4 – 18 from South Carolina. Children who graduate high school while in Epworth’s care are often eligible to continue receiving services through Epworth’s Independent Living/Higher Education Program.

Children come to Epworth after experiencing significant trauma like grief, loss, neglect and/or abuse. Children are placed at Epworth as “Private” placements by family or as “Public” placements by government entities like the South Carolina Department of Social Services – SCDSS.

Tradition of Excellence

Epworth has been located on Millwood Avenue in the heart of Columbia, South Carolina, since 1896. The 32-acre campus provides up to 86 children with nationally accredited, comprehensive care needed to overcome traumatic childhood experiences and transform their lives. The campus includes nine cottages that are staffed 24/7 by trained and caring adults. The cottage staff utilizes evidence based practices to teach basic life skills appropriate for each cottage’s age group. Epworth uses CARE (Children and Residential Experiences) childcare philosophy, developed by Cornell University. The model teaches childcare workers how to work in the best interest of children and create conditions for positive change while in residential group care.

Providing Comprehensive Care

Each child is assigned his/her own case manager who works with families, DSS case workers, and other providers to advocate for and work in the best interest of the child. The case manager is easily accessible. Their office is located on-site, inside the cottage, so children build trust through daily conversations and encouragement.

In addition to cottage staff, Epworth provides access to a full-range of professional staff to facilitate comprehensive care. The Vice President for Academics manages school tutoring performance; the Health Center staff provides basic medical care and manages doctor appointments; the Activities Director organizes physical fitness and recreational activities; the Social Services staff coordinates a variety of confidential counseling services; and the Campus Pastor walks alongside each child on their own faith formation journey.

As children are discharged from Epworth and move into new realities, the staff work with each child to prepare him/her for transition. This includes providing family therapy for clients with a goal of family reunification, coordinating supervised pre-foster/adoption visits, and an Independent Living Program to transition the child into young adulthood through higher education assistance, job training and life skills teachings.

The Epworth Difference

Epworth does more than provide safety, shelter and meals. Each child receives comprehensive care – physical, educational, spiritual, emotional – to transform lives and create hopeful futures. Some highlights of the Epworth Residential Care program include:

For Placement Professionals:

  • Government placements make up an average of 80% of Epworth’s total population.  The State of SC becomes the legal guardian of the child while he/she lives at Epworth.
  • DSS Universal Application accepted, offer emergency placements whenever appropriate
  • Provides completed monthly summaries and comprehensive care
    plans to DSS workers
  • Sibling placement specialty
  • 24 Hour Admission

For Case Workers:

  • Facilities, supervision and transportation provided for family visitation
  • On campus Case Manager assigned to each resident
  • On campus clinical services include:
    • Individual counseling
    • Family counseling  (Free to family)
    • Parenting classes (Free to family)
    • Substance abuse education, prevention and counseling
  • Independent Living/Higher Education Program offered to qualified residents
  • Midlands Family Care Center on campus for mothers and their children at risk of losing custody due to substance abuse

For Children in our Care:

  • Facilities, supervision and transportation provided for family visitation
  • Transportation to clinical, medical, dental and vision appointments
  • Annual physicals completed on campus
  • Award winning public schools (Richland One School District: Dreher High, Hand Middle, Brennen Elementary)
  • After school tutorial and summer enrichment programs at Epworth’s Barnes Learning Center
  • On campus Health Center with 24 hour medical support staff
  • USDA approved nutritious snack and meal options served by dining hall staff (Wellness Policy & Assessment)
  • On campus recreation including: gymnasium, swimming pool supervised by a certified life guard
  • Full-time Spiritual Mentor and Pastor on campus
  • Access to individualized activities and extracurricular activities
  • Facilities, supervision and transportation provided for family visitation

Admissions Information