Last week we heard Erin Murphy talk to our group about Pendleton Place in Greenville, SC. Back when I was a college student, I remember volunteering at Pendleton Place which was an emergency shelter for children under 11 years old who had been abused. It was a very rewarding experience so I was excited to hear about this place again.
It has changed over the years and is no longer an emergency shelter but it has different programs to meet the needs of children in our community. I was very impressed with the different programs. Their mission is “to keep children safe and support families in crisis through prevention, assessment, and intervention.”
The Smith House is a residential program for girls 11 – 21. They are taught functional living skills so they can be successfully independent in society. Even though the girls legally can leave at 18, they can choose to stay until they are 21.
There is also a Family and Child Assessment Center that is a collaboration between Pendleton Place, Department of Social Services, the Hospital System and United way. They provide comprehensive assessments to the children and families entering the foster care system. This means the child, the parents, and the foster parents are all involved so the child can eventually be returned home.
The Family Bridges helps families who are separated because of divorce, separation, abuse or neglect. They give supervised family visitation in a more child friendly atmosphere of a home environment rather than a sterile office environment which also allows for a flexible schedule for working parents. There is also a Safe Exchange program that lets parents exchange children at a neutral location where they don’t even have to come in contact with each other.
Pendleton Place has many volunteer opportunities and encourages you to come visit so you can see how the programs work. You can call 864-467-3650 if you are interested.