Thornwell’s A.R.C. Program is the only one of its kind in the Southeastern U.S.
Thornwell, a nonprofit organization committed to the most innovative and effective solutions to help children and families in need across Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina, is celebrating the one-year anniversary of their Attachment-Based Residential Care (A.R.C.) Program this October. As this milestone approaches, the program is also celebrating the opening of a new residential cottage for eight children this November.
Children working with Thornwell’s A.R.C. Residential Program may be placed by State agencies (such as Department of Social Services). Help is also sought privately by loving parents and caregivers who are struggling to deal with the long-term impact of their child’s early experiences of abuse and neglect, or those experiencing adoption related issues. Thornwell’s A.R.C. Residential Program offers children access to a full spectrum of services dedicated to their long-term healing including individual, group, and family therapy, as well as access to expressive therapies like art, drama and equine (horse-assisted).
“I think parents often feel like this is an answer to prayer because of the type and degree of services we have for kids. We wrap around the child and the entire family, which is unique in a residential care setting. Most programs just work with the child,” said Chelsea Waters, Admissions Coordinator for the A.R.C. Residential Program. “Our team approaches healing differently than other places. Trauma for our kids often occurred in the context of their close relationships in early childhood, and we approach healing through rebuilding attachment and relationships.”
The opening of a newly remodeled cottage reflects the growing need for attachment-based care services in the region. Currently, Thornwell is the only program of its kind in the Southeast. Most children and families work with the A.R.C. Program for 9-18 months through care that is evidence-based, trauma-informed and attachment-focused. Two highly trained couples are assigned to each cottage as Teaching Parents to guide each child through their healing journey. Many Teaching Parents are adoptive parents themselves and understand the experiences that adoptive and relative caregiver families have. Thornwell’s staff uses a holistic approach to healing through therapeutic social environment, extensive therapy, close integration with child’s school, and working alongside parents or caregivers to support their own healing and prepare for their child to come home. After going home, Thornwell can also provide ongoing therapy to help the family navigate the transition.
“Our continuum of care helps us to come alongside children and families to offer support from every angle,” said Waters. “Many of our kids within our program also attend our on-site charter school or receive specialized tutoring. This individualizes the educational support for kids, and we see tremendous gains for our youth who may behind in school because of social anxiety, a lack of interest, or truancy.”
Three additional support staff will start at the beginning of October. Kari Fuhrman is Thornwell’s new A.R.C. Residential Supervisor. She’s previously served as a Teaching Parent and Transitional Living Coordinator since 2016. Adam and Emily Hafenbridle previously worked as Teaching Parents and have both accepted new roles. Adam will start as the Ministry and Recreation Coordinator, while Emily begins her new role as Thornwell’s Transitional Living Program Coordinator. All three will work closely alongside youth and young adults who are hurting and in need of support.
To learn more about Thornwell’s A.R.C. Residential Program, visit A.R.C. Residential Program – Thornwell – Building Tomorrow’s Families.
To read a story of one of A.R.C.’s recent graduates, visit: Better is POSSIBLE through Thornwell’s A.R.C. Residential Program! – Thornwell – Building Tomorrow’s Families