WMTW Project CommUNITY: Maine Children's Home provides support to young parents

WATERVILLE, Maine — This year marks the 125th anniversary of Maine Children’s Home (MCH), the Waterville-based organization that provides child and family-focused services of parent support, mental health counseling, adoption support, and holiday and winter assistance.

Founded in 1899 as the Kennebec Valley Home for Children, the Waterville-based organization first opened its doors as a temporary refuge or “home” for children whose families faced difficult times. In 1915, it closed its orphanage, but continued to assist children waiting for adoption, and has since evolved and expanded to address changing needs of Maine children and families.

Today, MCH is a multifaceted organization that provides personalized community and office-based support to hundreds of individuals statewide. MCH’s services include young parent support, holiday assistance and winter essentials for families in need, mental health counseling, and family adoption support.

Other achievements include the organization’s 50-year-old young parent support services, Journey Program. Journey Program was established in 1974 and recently expanded to serve a wider age range of young parents to help them gain the knowledge, tools, and skills they need to be academically, financially, and emotionally successful individuals and parents.

“Without Journey Program, my life would have taken a completely different path,” says former Journey Program participant Allison Grady, who graduated from the program in 2017. “Everything would be different. I owe my high school diploma, subsequent opportunities, and even my friendships to the program and guidance from the coordinators. They helped me with literally every obstacle, ever. I don’t think I would have been a good person in society if it wasn’t for their support.”