The Children's Shelter is a children's shelter licensed through the Florida Department of Children and Families.
Children between the ages of six and 13 are placed in the shelter by the Florida Department of Children and Families after being removed from the custody of their current caretakers, frequently with only the clothes on their backs. They are often bruised, battered, bewildered, and bitter about what has happened to them. Many come from horrendous situations and have ingrained behavior patterns that reflect what they have grown to understand as normal.
The staff sees to their immediate needs, arranges for medical and dental care, registers them at the local public school and helps them assimilate into the shelter's daily routine. The children attend the programs and functions of First Baptist Church Leesburg for their age groups and participate in outside activities and community events.Every attempt is made to provide a normal, healthy family atmosphere during their stay. When they leave the shelter, many are reunited with their parents or are released to the care of a relative, while others go to a foster home or are adopted.
The Children's Shelter has two bedrooms on each of the two halls that can sleep up to four children in each room. There is a centrally located room that is used for video games and other playtime activities. Each child has a bunk bed, a dresser, and a closet for their clothing and personal items. The facility currently serves up to 12 children at a time. The kitchen, where the staff prepares meals, dining room, laundry facility and family room for hang out and t.v. time after homework are all located at the front of the home.
The Children's Shelter was established in 1985 as an emergency shelter for abused, neglected and abandoned children. It was originally licensed for only five children. It currently serves up to 12 children at any given time. The program has shifted over the years to accommodate children for longer periods of time with a staff trained to help those with elevated behavioral issues. The shelter can also house larger sibling groups, allowing them to stay together and feel more at ease in difficult times. In 2016, The Christian Care Center formed a partnership with Florida Baptist Children's Homes and combined resources to form the foremost Children's Shelter in Lake County.
Tutor after school
Light housekeeping and maintenance
Build relationships with Pizza & Game Night
Organize onsite or offsite outdoor activities
Partner financially to sponsor a boy or girl, update furnishings in a child's room or provide respite care for a foster family
The Children's Shelter staff consists of three positions:
Supervisor: oversees all operations of the Children's Shelter, its programs, facilities, staff and
Case Manager: provides for the advocacy and development of children through the case management of each child's specific plan
Child Care Staff: work eight-hour shifts to care for the children's needs and foster relationships
The staff is supported by a dedicated team of volunteers who serve in many capacities, from office support to special activities leaders with the kids and light maintenance.