With continued support from the community and various organizations, the Treutlen House has maintained a strong commitment towards providing support and guidance for children and their families.
For children who are welcomed, there are special programs that address issues such as abuse, neglect and abandonment. These programs include tutoring and special assistance with homework and learning issues in addition to local counseling professionals who visit the home twice a week.
As the service has evolved, it has also spent an increasing amount of time focusing on developing the independent living program. With the youngest child currently being 14, there is an increased emphasis on preparing them all for what lies ahead.
Someone who recognizes the importance of this focus is the Treutlen House Director Kristen Wert.
“Our main goal is to prepare the kids,” Wert said. “So, if they have the choice to leave at 18, they will be able to live on their own and be productive citizens.”
In order to help with this process, classes are offered that provide the kids with important information, regarding topics such as finance and health insurance that will prove to be very beneficial in the future.
Kids are also required to assist with common tasks, such as laundry and cooking, that will also develop the basic skills that will prepare them for future independence.
However, the most important aspect of the service is the stable home environment that it provides.
“The biggest focus right now is stability and permanency,” Wert said. “We are looking for this to be as permanent and stable as possible because that is something that these kids have never had. This will help them to be successful and to break the cycle that their family has been in.”
One of the things that has proven to help with the feeling of comfort is the support of the community.
“It is important that they know that people care about them,” Wert said. “Whether it is the staff or teachers at school, there are so many people in this community that have supported us and the kids to let them know that even though your mom may not be there for you, there is going to be other people that will be there for you.”
Wert emphasizes that there are a number of ways for those who are interested to assist with the programs.
Organizations and companies, such as Georgia Power, have participated in activities such as dinner clubs and coordinate basketball games.
“We’re always in need of things to be donated and we encourage people to help in any way they can,” said Wert. “My ultimate goal would be to be able to keep them in care past the age of 18 and to provide an independent living program for them until they are 25.”
With continued support, the Treutlen House will look to expand the outreach of the service.
The Treutlen House will honor community members who have had a role in their success at a breakfast that will serve as an expression of the appreciation for any assistance that will be held at Ms. Jean’s Restaurant in Rincon on Dec. 1 at 9 a.m.