Our History


The Hope Center for Children was formed from two strong organizations with a common theme of high quality services for children since the 1970s.

Since 1974, the Ellen Hines Smith Girls' Home has offered safety and around-the-clock care for girls between 11 and 19 years old. Four years later in 1978 the Children Shelter of the Upstate was born to provide emergency shelter for boys and girls of all ages. This around-the-clock care is provided when children are removed from their homes due to abuse and/or neglect. Both organizations have offered safety, teaching and advocacy for our most vulnerable children.

In January 2013, these two historically strong organizations merged to form the Hope Center for Children, providing a true continuum of care to meet the needs of the children and families in our community. Though we provide many different services, our new name captures what is at the heart of each one of our programs - providing hope to children and families.

Today, we have six cohesive programs to fulfill our mission of building stable, healthy families and providing children a safe place from abuse and neglect. Three of these programs are residential: an emergency shelter for boys and girls in foster care (all ages); a group home for teenage girls in foster care; and a transitional living home for homeless or runaway youth ages 16-22, many of whom recently aged out of foster care. Two of our programs serve the entire family, preventing the need for so many children to enter foster care; they are called Empowering Families and Triple P. Triple P also offers support as a child leaves foster care, wrapping the family with support when a child goes to a permanent home. Finally, Hope Center for Children has a clinical services program  where therapists serve residents in our care as well as children and families in our community. All six programs use evidence-based or evidence-informed models, yielding outstanding outcomes as a result.

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