Redford's Methodist Children's Home Society gives foster kids a special place

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If you look around the 80-acre campus on Six Mile in Redford, you'll see it looks exactly like what it takes -- a village.  

When you hear about young people waiting for adoptions and a foster home, you probably don't envision this. Not one room looks the same at Methodist Children's Home Society in Redford. The 60 kids who spend a year there in between homes get to pick out what they want their rooms to look like.  

"People who drive by here on 6 Mile, they really don't recognize or even begin to understand the true magic of what's happening," said Kevin Roach, Methodist Children's Home Society.

Roach leads the efforts on campus. It isn't just a place for kids to stop off between homes. More than 60 percent of kids in foster care residences come back to a center like it, because it didn't work out.  At MCHS, they don't have that problem.

"We have a variety of clubs on our campus that our kids can get involved in, to help them find what their hobbies are and what they like to do, get involved with sports," said Katie Woodstock, Methodist Children's Home Society. "Many of our kids have never been part of an organized sport before. We have a basketball team. The MCHAS Hawks, they picked their mascot because we have a hawk that flies around campus."

In Wayne County, 46,147 kids were involved in child abuse and neglect investigations. The place is meant to give kids a place to not just wait, but to learn. That includes therapy.  

"Every child in our residential program are assigned a therapist that provides a variety of different therapy," Woodstock said. "Not just clinical but sometimes just talk therapy, coping skills, if they're feeling a little bit emotional, how to learn to bring themselves to a comfortable place. And we also have animal therapy that we just started on our campus too."

So at a time that the kids who come here have faced unthinkable abuse and neglect, this becomes a safe spot.  A place to feel exactly as they should -- like kids. 

May is foster care month, and a time to celebrate a program that works.   

"We hope that we are just a chapter in that child's life, Roach said. "And quite frankly we hope it is the shortest chapter of the child's life at the end of the day and we emphasize that point to our children that the past does not define the future."

If you are interested in volunteering to help out or to learn more: