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Harris Cottage: Rebuilding Hope for Girls

 

A third specialized psychiatric treatment cottage has been opened at Grandfather Home for Children, geared to serve six pre-adolescent girls suffering from the trauma associated with significant abuse and neglect. 

 

The staff-secure facility, Harris Cottage, reopened earlier this month after the Home re-credentialed the building for the more highly-structured program.  Two other campus buildings now serve the needs of these more troubled children.

 

“I wish I had known about Grandfather Home earlier,” said Meredith, a current 16-year-old resident of Grandfather Home.  “I was in 15 or more places before coming here.  I felt angry and hopeless for a long time.”

 

There is a challenge in North Carolina to meet the growing needs of children younger than Shayne, according to Grandfather Home CEO Jim Swinkola.  Very few programs are offered in the state to serve traumatized children younger than 12.  To help meet this challenge, Grandfather Home reopened the cottage to serve girls ages 6-14.  The program will focus on helping young girls who have experienced severe abuse and neglect. 

 

“We want to help hurting children who suffer from abuse and neglect,” said Stephanie Knowles, Director of Services.  “Each child entering Grandfather Home and this program especially will learn new life skills to help them transition back into their homes and community.  We want to see them heal and thrive!”

 

Harris is structured as a staff-secured psychiatric residential treatment facility (PRTF) which is a medical model of care under the direction of a certified psychiatrist, on-site nurse and staff to help each child with an individualized plan.  These plans help manage each child’s exhibited behaviors like depression, severe anxiety and aggression.

 

“Children admitted into the current PRTF cottages are more likely to have been placed previously in psychiatric hospitals,” said Knowles.  The majority of these children also have been suspended from school or placed in specialized programs to contain their behavioral issues.

 

Campbell Cottage and Hickory Cottage were opened several months ago and have provided results of effective programming, according to Knowles.  Children in both cottages have made immense progress in their treatment within a short period of time.  Six have successfully transitioned into a lower level of care and are maintaining their current placement.

 

“Optimism is high that more and more boys and girls will benefit from our ministry as the months go on,” said Swinkola.  “Our continuum of care has multiple services that give children realistic next steps for them to achieve.  Harris Cottage is another step for helping heal children’s hurt and trauma.”

 

Today, Grandfather Home for Children helps more than 280 children like Shayne across North Carolina daily with a wide array of services.  Children in the care of Grandfather Home have experienced deep hurt and trauma from neglect or abuse.  To learn more about the organization, call 828-898-5465 or visit www.grandfatherhome.org.