Diagnostic Center to helpMBCH meet more needs
BRIDGETON—“Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it,” Proverbs 22:6.
Serving the needs of at-risk children is the central mission of the Missouri Baptist Children’s Home (MBCH), which held a trustees’ meeting July 24.
The MBCH’s Professional Development Institute offered a development seminar July 24-25, and one of the announcements coming forth from that was the development of a new way to deal with at-risk children. The Diagnostic Center will give the children a physical, emotional, spiritual and social exam that will be used to further understand the needs of the child.
MBCH Executive Vice President Russell Martin is hopeful about what could come from the diagnostic center.
“(About) 17 years ago, Missouri Baptist Children’s Home opened a crisis care unit to respond to the needs of children who needed an immediate placement,” he said. “It typically takes two to three weeks to process the paperwork to admit a child into a therapeutic group home. We were getting requests for placements where a wait of two or three weeks was not possible.
“An example would be if a hotline call is placed on a family situation and results in a child being removed from the home. In that case, the child needs a place to go immediately. Or, if a family is having a serious disruption or the safety of the child is at risk and the parents call us for assistance, they need it right now. The Pillsbury Crisis Care Program was developed to meet these kinds of needs.
“The intended stay in crisis care is to be no more than 30 days. The purpose is to resolve the crisis and determine what is in the child’s best interests after this placement. Should the child return home? Should he be placed in a residential setting or in a foster home? Is there a relative placement available? Obviously, with a child being admitted on such short notice, there is often times very little information known about the child and his or her needs.”
Martin and others dreamed about finding out valuable information that could be used to help and treat children.
“It is our plan to develop a diagnostic unit with the crisis care program whereby we would provide a full array of assessments and evaluations on children to determine what brought them to us, what are the child’s particular issues and needs, and then to develop a treatment plan that addresses them,” Martin said. “These services will be provided by a team of professionals that will do psychiatric and psychological evaluations, medical screenings, educational assessments and spiritual assessments. This team will be composed of both staff and other professionals under contract.
“The evaluations, assessments, and screenings will be used to develop a ‘road map’ and identify what services the child and family need. If the child needs to be placed in a more structured setting (such as a therapeutic group home or perhaps a therapeutic family foster home), much more information will be available to that home to determine if that home is appropriate and also to give that home the information needed to more successfully provide the interventions needed for a successful placement. Our goal is to strengthen the child and the family. Having this additional information will be invaluable to us as we minister to them. It will also be invaluable to other placements the child might need or to the family, if the child returns home.”
In other news, MBCH President Raymond “Bob” Kenison emphasized the need for planned gift offerings which benefit the MBCH and the donor much more than other forms of donations.
“Every gift ought to be a planned gift,” he said. “If I were to come up to you and ask for you to help the MBCH, you might look at your bank account and say that you have only got X amount of dollars you can spare. The other side of this is the planned gift. We look at everything that is there and think about the things that you could do and the things that you cannot do. We look at what you have besides cash you can give away. The reality of this is when you start planning, you find some of those assets that you can actually part with and make a charitable gift out of. Then in some cases, the benefits in taxes and so forth actually replace some of that which is great for everyone. So you can do much more with a planned gift then you would ever think of being able to do otherwise.”