The Wichita Children’s Home provides care for victims of abuse, abandonment and neglect. They also offer support to runaways, children facing family crisis and youth who may be at risk in the home.
The home began in 1888 as the city’s first orphanage, but has changed through the years and now provides crisis services.
“Wichita is blessed with wonderful long-term facilities for kiddos, “ said Executive Director Sarah Robinson. “But we are the ones that are 24/7 on the very front end."
The staff works with law enforcement to help get the children off the streets. They also help them with the transition from childhood to adulthood.
“Different programs are offered at the home,” said Robinson. “The children brought in by law enforcement are with us for 72 hours and during that time the state social workers decide what’s best for them.”
The children who are admitted by their parents can stay two weeks, or longer, depending on the need.
BRIDGES is a transitional living program that provides housing, counseling, education, life skills coaching and vocational preparation for 16-22 year olds. It's designed to help youth grow up and learn how to live on their own and move toward self-sufficiency.
“Those kiddos come to us often off the streets,” said Robinson. “They may be homeless; they may be runaways; they may be throwaway. They don’t have a place to go, so they can come into this program."
More than 5000 children a year are served by the Wichita’s Children Home through foster homes, residential programs and street outreach.
More information including events for the Wichita Children’s Home 125th anniversary is available on their website.