There are children in our care who have no family at all, or whose family situation is too destructive or threatening to allow them to go home for even short visits (there is no caregiving parent; a parent may be in a mental institution or in jail; there is grounds to suspect the child may be in physical danger due to violence and extreme neglect). For these children the Children's Home continues its operations 365 days a year. A child who on the eve of a holiday must remain on campus while his friends leave, because there is no one who can take him in and offer love and security, is a child whose sadness never leaves his eyes. A child who begs a staff member to take her home with him because she too wants to feel, just once, what it is like to be in a family, is one in need of extra special care.
Over the past decade we have witnessed an increase in the number of children in our care who cannot go home for vacation. Whereas in the past one or two counselors remained with the 4 or 5 children whose situation was too difficult to allow their going home, today we are consistently faced with a vacation group numbering twenty-five or more boys and girls and a variety of ages. Some of these children spend several years with us without the ability to be off campus for more than an overnight school trip. We invest a lot of thought, effort and expense to ensure that each of these children, who have no one else, believe and feel that the world is there for them too and that he or she is deserving of a place in our society.