Our church, First Presbyterian of Britton, has contributed a portion of their mission dollars to Children’s Home Society in Sioux Falls. This year, the sewing ladies will contribute a number of their quilts, also. The following is a brief explanation of what this organization is all about:
South Dakota’s oldest, nonprofit, human services organization, Children’s Home Society (CHS), was found in 1893 by a Christian couple, who wanted to provide care and adoption services for South Dakota’s abandoned, abused, or unwanted children. In the 1970s, CHS evolved from an orphanage to a residential treatment program for children with emotional or behavioral problems.
Today, the majority of children who come to CHS are victims of physical, sexual or emotional abuse, and/or severe neglect. It is also part of our mission to help children with emotional or behavioral problems beyond the control of loving parents. We provide the education and treatment needed to address those special challenges and to help children find success in their homes, school and communities. In 1998, CHS merged with Children’s Inn, a domestic violence shelter that began in 1977 to provide emergency shelter services for women and children who are victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, or child abuse.
The age of children served in residential treatment is primarily 4-13, and they stay an average of 14 months. Most of the children are referred by S.D. Dept. of Social Services, but we also receive some referrals from schools and parents. We do serve children of all ages, in our emergency shelter, foster care and adoption programs. Our primary goal is based on our belief that everyone has a right to basic safety. Our focus on safety relates to child abuse and domestic violence. It is also our goal to give children the opportunity to have safe and healthy families; whether that is birth families, relatives, adoptive families or foster families.
CHS employs 360 staff & has an annual operating budget of $20 million. About 17% of our budget needs to come through charitable support, so we are very grateful for those who give so generously to invest in our mission and the lives of children and families.
As a private, nonprofit organization, CHS is pleased that faith-based principles and traditions are threads that can be woven into the fabric of the therapeutic environment that surrounds these children.