125 Years of Methodist Children's Home

 

Houston 125th

 

Spotlight on Houston Family Outreach

Throughout 2015, Methodist Children’s Home is commemorating its 125th anniversary. MCH has been blessed in these 125 years to extend our services beyond the beautiful Waco campus and Boys Ranch to outreach offices located in Texas and New Mexico that provide services to families and children. Throughout the year, the individual Family Outreach offices will be featured to highlight the uniqueness they bring to the communities they serve.

Houston
The MCH Family Outreach office in Houston was established in 1966 and provides a variety of services designed to strengthen individuals and families, including Family Solutions, the Grandparents as Parents program (GAPP), foster care, the Nurturing Parenting program, and services for incarcerated mothers.

“One of the unique opportunities we have in the  Houston office is working with incarcerated mothers and provide foster care for their babies,” said Veronica Peters, outreach director. “Often these moms write to us requesting assistance before the birth of their child. We meet with the mothers face-to-face and do the intake paperwork for placement. While in MCH foster care our staff take the babies to visit their moms monthly or quarterly.”

Peters added that “we provide case management services, such as our Family Solutions program, upon the mom’s release from prison and three months of follow–up with the child upon discharge from MCH foster care.”

According to Peters, being located in such a large metropolitan area comes with its own set of challenges and opportunities.

“One of the challenges for us is working in a metropolitan area and familiarizing ourselves with all the areas to better serve our clients,” she said.  “We’re centrally located, but it’s always a challenge to keep a finger on the pulse of what’s going on in each of Houston’s communities. All five of our staff live in different school districts and our office is in another district all together. Needless to say, as we network within the community and visit clients, we are all road warriors!”

Family Solutions serves clients within a 45-mile range of the MCH office and the furthest GAPP client is 70 miles away, Peters said, adding that to reach one client requires a ferry ride.

Despite the size of Houston and the number of likeminded agencies in existence, MCH Family Outreach is “just one of two agencies to do voluntary foster care,” she noted.

“The biggest joys about working at MCH is having staff that will go above and beyond to help keep families together,” said Peters. “Our foster parents are wonderful. I feel great when I can look a birth parent in their eyes and tell them that their child/children will be OK and safe with MCH. This is especially true for moms who are incarcerated and unable to make regular visits."

Peters said, “It feels great being part of an organization with a 125 year history. MCH is a stable and trusted agency and we are honored to be part of such a great ministry.”

MCH Family Outreach in Houston can be reached by calling (713) 682-8911. The office is located at 5005 Mitchelldale Suite 119, Houston, Texas 77092.