The Growing Need for Education, Behavioral & Health-Based Services
“Putting it simply, there is a growing need for comprehensive education, behavioral and health services for youth in Greater Cincinnati,” said John Banchy, president and CEO of The Children’s Home of Cincinnati. “Our agency remains at the forefront of tackling issues that affect the most vulnerable in our community.”
Banchy said The Children’s Home is on the front lines every day working to address the paralyzing factors of poverty, neglect, addiction, malnourishment, mental illness and other concerns that are compounded when they impact kids.
“We took a long look at the resources and help we provide the community, and decided that increasing our services was absolutely the right thing to do,” he said. “These issues can affect any major metropolitan area, but they are compounded greatly when you factor in how they impact children.”
The Children’s Home is expanding and growing the footprint of its more than 20 comprehensive programs that are aimed at providing hope, help and healing to the children and families of Cincinnati. The need, Banchy says, is very real, and he and his staff are chipping away at these community problems every day.
“We treat kids who often have nowhere else to go in our day treatment programs,” he said. “Partnering school districts refer them to us when it’s obvious they lack the resources or specialists to help a student navigate whatever mental or behavioral health challenges they are going through.
“Many times, it’s much, much more than simply a behavior problem,” Banchy said. “It’s a series of behaviors that manifest because of outside influences any kid would have little to no control over – such as living in a challenging neighborhood, being born into poverty, or an absence of one or both parents, among others.”
Autism Services & Preschool Expansion
Two additional key areas that are growing for The Children’s Home are its autism services and preschool.
“We’re expanding the number of kids we enroll in our autism services program,” Banchy said. “We have had families that have moved from as far away as Columbus, [Ohio] to enroll with us, and some have taken their kids out of local traditional schools to take advantage of the programs we offer here.”
A brand new, state-of-the-art campus is dedicated to these programs. The facility features a behavioral health counselor who is available for grade school-age children on the spectrum as well as services for transitioning young adults who have already graduated high school and are working toward job readiness or independent living. But the organization’s autism services director will be the first to point out it’s so much more than just a school.
“One of the aspects of our program that sets us apart is that we presume competence from our students and provide them the opportunity to thrive in an environment that capitalizes on their abilities and strengths,” said Amanda Tipkemper, The Children’s Home of Cincinnati’s autism services director. “Our 80,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art facility has been designed to provide the accommodations and support structures that ensure success.”
The preschool has a 5-Star rating from the state of Ohio and any child, not just those who have need of The Children’s Home specialized services, is eligible to attend the program.
“Our preschool program is dedicated to delivering rich content to young, developing minds,” said Carolyn Brinkman, director of early childhood and school age services. “As such, we promote initiative, creativity, exploration and problem solving through interactive experiences that set the foundation for lifelong learning and positions our kids to be successful as they approach kindergarten.”
It Takes a Village
The Children’s Home’s 155-year history has always had a direct and tangible partnership with the Cincinnati community, and the expansion of its services to children and families is no different.
“I’m grateful this generous and giving community has always been behind our mission of service and the work we do,” said Roderick D. Hinton, vice-president of advancement of The Children’s Home. “Through our strategic partnerships and the people who support children and families, we were able to serve 10,507 children and families last year. That’s 10,507 lives that were changed by our organization and the community members who stand with us as we secure Cincinnati’s future,” he said.
Hinton said that as the mission and scope of The Children’s Home grows, the opportunity to help local youth is also growing.
“Organizations who volunteer with us as well as individual donors are critical allies to the vulnerable population we serve,” he said. “Proceeds from our annual events, like Rockin’ at Riverfest this fall, go right back into the programs we use to change lives.”
Donation as well as volunteer opportunities are available on the organization’s website at www.thechildrenshomecinti.org