Manatee Children’s Services (MCS) has been offering preventative and intervention services to abused and neglected children and their families since 1977. One intervention service provided by MCS is to partner with other agencies in order to provide safe housing to abused and neglected children after a break down has occur within their traditional family setting. Manatee Children’s Services provides housing to children in either their emergency shelter setting or within one of their three residential homes. While housing is deemed temporary until reunification with family can occur or possible adoption, MCS housing strives to provide a loving and supportive family environment to these children.
Of the four homes offered to house children, MCS offers a residential home to just girls. This house is set in a traditional home setting and houses up to six girls at one time. The girls’ group home looks like any other house on the block thereby providing confidentiality to the residents who live there. The house is equipped with five bedrooms, three bathrooms, and offers an in ground swimming pool for recreation to the girls. The girls can range in ages from 12 to 18 years old and all are enrolled in school. The goal within the girls’ home is to provide a safe and healthy family environment. MCS accomplishes this goal by employing a full time house parent who resides continuously within the home Monday through Friday with a respite employee relieving her on the weekends. Employing a full time houseparent throughout the week allows for stability for these girls in their living environment. This houseparent organizes recreational activities with the girls, runs the girls to appointments, helps them with school work and connects with the girls on an emotional level.
Some residents in the girls group home are reunited with family members while other residents are not. Adoption can become a goal of the resident when no other permanent placement is found. Successful adoption has occurred for residents within the girls’ group home. Girls have connected with parents who truly want them to be part of their families and who do follow through to provide a safe, loving and stable home. For these girls, a future has been carved out for them in life where instability has been so reminiscent of their environment. For the girls who have not yet been adopted or successfully reunified with family members, MCS continues to offer these girls a stable, loving and secure environment with the goal of focusing on current needs to enable them to grow and to become capable adults.
Marcella Lacy, Residential Director, Manatee Children’s Services
453 Cortez Road West, Bradenton, Florida 34207
(941) 345-1200, ext. 134
Our Mission: “To advocate for and provide the resources, skills, and shelter to alleviate abuse through prevention and intervention for all children and their families.”
Help children who are victims of abuse and neglect by making a contribution to Manatee Children’s Services. Donate Now online @ www.manateechildrensservices.com