Palmer Home for Children helps restore families in the Mid-South by introducing God’s love through service to every child. Palmer Home provides a safe and trusting environment for children that ensures they can find restoration in life with the necessary connections and support. The nonprofit organization serves children in four ways: campus care, foster care, family care and transitional care. The families it serves experience a variety of obstacles. Palmer Home helps heal the trauma children have experienced, focusing on their emotional, physical, spiritual and educational needs. Palmer Home empowers children in its care to reach their true potential by providing structure, family and community.
The traditional campus program is located in Hernando where Palmer Home currently serves 48 children. It’s an alternative to going to state care. Families release their children to Palmer Home who then has co-guardianship. Each child is placed with a caregiver couple who lives in one of the six on-campus homes with other children. But it’s important to maintain familial relationships when possible, so Palmer Home encourages maintaining the connections to family members.
Palmer Home’s foster care program allows children the opportunity to experience the support and connection of a family. Those families achieve foster status through Palmer Home’s training and programming to provide care for children in their homes. Palmer Home’s foster care program sets itself apart by working to keep siblings together when otherwise they likely would be separated. Through its Jonah’s Journey ministry, Palmer Home provides family care for the children of mothers in prison. Foster families keep the bonds between mother and child with reunification as the ultimate goal. The biggest difference between the traditional foster care program and Jonah’s Journey is the commitment to work with the mom to sustain the biological bonds.
Not every individual that Palmer Home works with is a child in the technical sense. The transitional care program provides continued guidance and coaching for those individuals who are between the ages of 18 and 24 with the goal of independence through career and vocational development. When Palmer Home had a large group of children in its care graduate high school together, the organization identified transitional care as a needed service. So it has employees who are dedicated to assisting those young adults, whether that’s with getting into and finding success in college, joining the military or entering the workforce. Each year, an estimated 25,000 children age out of foster care at age 18 and become homeless. Palmer Home is there to support the children who graduate out of its care so they continue to have those loving connections.
Palmer Home provides holistic care based on the child’s physical, emotional, spiritual and educational needs. And while Palmer Home is located in DeSoto County, more than 50 percent of the children in its care are from Shelby County. Others are from Middle Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi and other Mid-South communities. Palmer Home doesn’t receive state or federal funding. All operating income comes from donations. In addition to donating financially, more information about how to volunteer or apply to become a foster parent can be found on the website at palmerhome.org.
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