Florida Baptist Children’s Homes is a faith-based nonprofit organization that provides safe, stable, Christian homes for boys and girls who have been neglected, misdirected, abandoned, abused, or caught up in family turmoil. The Children’s Homes has been serving abused, neglected, and orphaned children since 1904. We have three major service areas: campus ministries, community ministries, and Orphan’s Heart International Ministry.
Through our Campus Ministries, we do more than just house these children. We ensure that they get good medical care, nourishing food, proper clothes, and education. We give them counseling, lots of love, attention, and a positive lifestyle. But the most important thing we give them is hope. We teach them about Jesus Christ and how He died for them so that they may have Everlasting Life. In short, we provide for their physical, emotional, social and spiritual needs. Florida Baptist Children’s Homes employs Christian house parents and social workers who don’t regard the children as clients or case loads! They truly care for the children and care about the children. They love and nurture them, and laugh and cry with them. The house parents pray with the children every day, and they take them to church on Sundays and Wednesdays. The children who come to live with us are selected solely on the basis of (1) their need, and (2) our ability to help them. We do not discriminate.
We have residential care facilities, commonly called “campuses,” at six locations throughout the state: Miami, Fort Myers, Lakeland, Jacksonville, Tallahassee and Pensacola. All of our campuses provide social work services. In addition, the Lakeland Campus provides an Emergency Shelter for school-age children. The shelter is a 24-hour intake facility that’s designed for short-term care of boys and girls who are in a crisis and need immediate placement.
Community Ministry program
Our Community Ministry program includes services that provide foster care, adoption and Caring Families. Florida Baptist Children’s Homes maintains a network of Christian foster care homes throughout the state for the care and nurturing of infants, preschoolers, sibling groups and children with unique needs. While a child is in foster care we work with the child’s family to remediate the problems that caused the child to be removed, and if possible, reunite the child with their parents. In many cases, foster children go on to be placed in permanent adoptive homes. Our foster families receive continual support from the Children’s Homes. It is a joyous occasion when we are able to help a child in need of a family find a permanent Christian family of their own. The Children’s Homes work closely with prospective adoptive parents and orphaned children to help facilitate a smooth transition to the new family arrangement. Our Adoption Specialists provide counseling, supervise legal matters, and work with biological parents and others involved.
Caring Families is a ministry of the local church that is comprised of a network of volunteer Christian families who will take in children from parents that may be temporarily unable to properly care for their children for a variety of reasons such as hospitalization, homelessness, drug abuse, or when a parent is remanded to a correctional institution for a period of time.
Florida Baptist Children’s Homes has also committed to support the Sanctity of Human Life. A specialist on our staff is working with pastors, pregnancy care centers and pregnant, unwed, teen-age girls to help prevent abortions.
Orphan’s Heart is the international childcare program that was established by the Florida Baptist Children’s Homes in 2008. Our work focuses on providing for the physical and spiritual needs of orphaned and disadvantaged children in the developing world. Our core strategy focuses on sending short-term mission teams to our priority locations. In the few short years since we started, hundreds of volunteers have traveled with us on one or more of our many weeklong mission trips. We primarily work alongside locals and help them improve the level of care for the children they serve. We work to improve the safety and security of the children and help improve conditions to foster better health and sanitation.
Our Mission: To provide Christ-centered services to children and families in need.
Florida Baptist Children’s Homes operates under the auspices of the Florida Baptist Convention and is governed by a 24-member Board of Trustees. These trustees are committed Christian men and women from throughout the state who are elected by the Convention to serve three-year terms on a rotating basis.
Florida Baptist Children’s Homes has a rich history of providing quality care for children and families. It is our best estimate that for more than 100 years over 30,000 children have lived in homes provided by this great ministry. Only God knows the full extent of the good done in and through the many individuals who have been a part of the Children’s Homes family. This we do know: It is a work of love, and many point to the Homes as that entity which provided them just what they needed during a crucial time in their lives. The greatest stories of success are represented in the precious ones who, for a period of time lived in one of our homes.