Frequently Asked Questions
Your Questions, Answered
Click the questions below to open up a world of answers about who we are, what we do, and how you can get involved in giving these boys the help, hope, and healing we strive for.
What type of programs does Windwood Family Services provide?
Windwood Farm Home for Children, Inc., a private, 501(c) 3 not for profit organization. We provide a variety of residential and community based programs, working with children and families to ensure safety through supportive interventions. Because our service array has expanded to include more than our Home for Children, we are commonly called Windwood Family Services.
Community-Based Prevention Services is a preventative service for families who are at risk or are suspected of abuse and neglect of children residing in their home. We serve families in Charleston and Dorchester counties. We provide in-home interventions over several months in an attempt to decrease stressors that are negatively affecting the primary caregiver’s ability to provide a safe and healthy environment for their children.
What agencies provide oversight to your organization?
As an agency, we are accredited through a national organization, The Council on Accreditation, COA, for maintaining best practice standards. Our Psychiatric Residential Treatment Facility (PRTF) is licensed through The SC Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC). Our group living service program is licensed through The Department of Social Services (SCDSS).
The state Fire Marshall provides oversight for both programs. Our state’s Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) provides oversight to all of the programs that provide reimbursement through Medicaid. Each program we operate was awarded to us through a state contract that clearly defines our obligations through standards that have been set by the state or by the terms of any grant that has been received. Agency policies and procedures are reviewed and approved by our Board of Directors.
Why are children placed in residential care?
Children are placed in residential programs only after all community based interventions have been exhausted. Children in our residential programs may have been removed from their homes due to physical, psychological, or sexual abuse; exposure to domestic violence; substance abuse or criminal activity in their family; or other unstable home situations. At times, parents who have exhausted all community options that are available to their child and family also place their child in our psychiatric treatment program. We operate 365 days a year, and while the boys are in placement, they reside with us 7 days a week. We never close our doors.
What is the length of stay at a residential program at Windwood Farm?
After a child is admitted to Windwood Farm, our multidisciplinary treatment team works together to determine the course of care and treatment and a child’s length of stay. Typically, the boys spend 6-12 months in our programs, but some are placed here for as little as 60-90 days.
How is a child admitted to your programs?
In our Enhanced Residential Group Home, we accept referrals from many different state agencies such as The Department of Social Services (DSS), The Department of Mental Health, The Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ), and school districts. To receive services in the Group Home, your child must have a sponsoring agency that makes the referral to us. On July 1, 2014 Parents and other primary caregivers were given permission by SCDHHS to make referrals on their child’s behalf, but it is their responsibility to make arrangements to have a CAL-LOCUS and diagnostic assessment completed on their child. They must also work with a physician who will sign a certificate of need (CON) that states their child is appropriate for the psychiatric level of care.
How are you funded?
Our annual budget is close to $3 million dollars. The majority of the revenue we generate (80%) comes from our fee for service programs. Unfortunately, this only covers approximately 70% of the actual costs to operate our programs. The Charleston local Exchange Clubs and other local civic organizations, faith-based organizations, and state and local foundations such as The Coastal Community Foundation’s donor directed funds are also sources for grant monies we receive.
Financial support from individual donors and a solid, dedicated group of volunteers who assist us in many ways to defer costs, are vital in maintaining our programs and make up for the additional 20% needed to balance our budget.
How can I make a monetary donation?
Your private donation is made as a tax-deductible gift to us. It can be made in the form of cash, an estate gift, stock, or real estate to name a few of our giving opportunities. Contributions support general operating funds, unless you designate its use. Money can also be donated as an honorarium or memorial for a loved one. We always honor the request of our donors and will keep you informed of how the money has been spent. Contact Luanne Rodgers, Director of Philanthropy, at 843-991-0676 or Debbie McKelvey, Executive Director, at 843-991-0681 for further details.
What type of volunteer opportunities do you have?
Many different individuals and either civic or faith-based related organizations volunteer their time and talent to Windwood Farm. We have a number of workdays scheduled throughout the year where volunteers tackle landscaping and maintenance projects on our 110-acre property. Volunteers are also a vital part of our fundraising campaigns as either committee members, ambassadors of public relations throughout our community, or by manning booths, selling tickets, and helping us to organize different events throughout the year.
We appreciate the opportunity to meet new friends, and we rely on this source of manpower to accomplish much of our property maintenance. Without volunteers we could not adequately maintain our facilities nor offer as many social opportunities to our boys. Each year, we attribute saving several tens of thousands of dollars in purchasing services, goods, and labor because of our loyal volunteers.
What type of education service is provided there?
Charleston County School District provides education services for children in our residential placements in a self-contained separate school setting in our on-campus school. There is a primary, elementary, and a middle school program taught by master level special education teachers. Each classroom also has two aides that assist in providing academic enrichment to our boys. Our staff provides behavior modification services to the boys who attend this school. Once the boys stabilize their behavior and are able to perform academically in a general setting, they may be mainstreamed into a community school.
Are medications prescribed in your residential programs?
All medication related to the management of behaviors are prescribed by our attending psychiatrist/Medical Director James E. McKinney, M.D. In cases of physical illness, our staff nurse consults with a local pediatrician who prescribes medications as needed. Our nurses also act as a primary nurse manager for children who live with us who have chronic medical issues. They arrange for ongoing medical care that demands specialized attention, medical check-ups, and dental exams. They also make sure all the children’s immunizations are up to date.