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Our History

Our History

A ministry of the West Ohio Conference of the United Methodist Church, UMCH Family Services, formerly The United Methodist Children’s Home, began as an orphanage in 1911. Throughout the years, the way we have served children has changed to meet the needs of a changing world, but the mission has remained the same “to strengthen our community by providing care, nurture and treatment for hurting children and families”.

We have gone from being The Children’s Home, to being homes, dozens and dozens of them, for children — providing homes through Treatment Foster Care, finding homes through Adoption and strengthening homes through Outpatient Mental Health Services for families.

Important Events in Our History

1911-1913 – Methodist Children’s Home Association of Ohio purchased 144 acres of farmland in Worthington, Ohio.

1914 – 30 children were in residence.

1922 – First social service worker was employed.

1923 – Edwards Cottage was built.

1929 – Wesley Cottage and Hospital was built.

1952 – Two Cherington Lodges were dedicated with funds from the estate of Charles S. Cherington in memory of his mother, Julia Hurst Cherington.

1959 – The Administrative Center was constructed.

1962 – Launched the Adoption Services program to help pregnant, unwed women.

1969 – Adopted Reality Therapy with a behavior modification treatment approach.

1969 – Officially changed the name to The United Methodist Children’s Home.

1975 – Adopted Positive Peer Culture treatment approach to teach youth to assume responsibility for helping one another.

1989 – Wesley, Edwards and Morral Cottages were replaced and Jones and Harford Cottages were added.

1993 – Launched the Treatment Foster Care Program. The Children’s Residential Center added a boys’ Conduct Disorder program and a boys’ Emergency Shelter Care program.

2007 – Launched Wesley Family Services Outpatient Mental Health for Families.

2008 – Added a teen girls’ program to help those with the most challenging issues in our Residential Care.

2010 – Streamlined services by closing Residential Care. Focus on Adoption, Treatment Foster Care and Outpatient Mental health increased. Added Post Adoption Services. Changed our name to UMCH Family Services.

2012 – Added Family Bridges Program.

2013 – Added Therapeutic Intervention and Residential AfterCare Programs.

2014 – Adopted agency-wide trauma-informed therapy approach using the Neurosequential Model of Therapeutics.

2015 – Hosting first annual Change Your Hue of Blue to raise awareness around family mental health.