Connie Maxwell Children’s Home has established a strong reputation for excellent residential care of children, rehabilitation of broken families, and ongoing efforts in life skill education. The Duke Endowment’s most recent award to Connie Maxwell comes as a result of its relationship with the institution and recognizes how a successful legacy can pave the way for new resources to reach hurting children and families in South Carolina.

Since its founding in 1892, Connie Maxwell’s mission has been to meet the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of children. Current data reflects that, at any given time, roughly 4,000 children are active in the foster care system in South Carolina. Connie Maxwell is already active in recruiting, training, and supporting foster families, as well as the children in their care. Now, through this $350,000 endowment award, more children can be reached through its foster care services.

According to Tim Duncan, vice president for programs, recent federal legislation prevents children of a certain age in DSS custody to be placed in a residential setting. However, through foster care services, Connie Maxwell can serve these children. “We feel that reaching as many children as we can is God’s task for us. This allows us to diversify without taking away from our heritage in residential care. Adding more services for more children is our duty,” he says.

Duncan says the grant idea was born out of a simple conversation with the Duke Endowment, as they discussed areas of critical need and their shared commitment. Because of the twenty-year relationship between the two institutions, Duncan believes the endowment understands Connie Maxwell’s ability to be diverse while staying strong to its mission.

Paula Reed has served as Connie Maxwell’s foster care coordinator since July 2017 and looks forward to the ways this grant will expand her ministry scope over the next three years. “We have two new staff members responsible for training new and existing foster parents in the ARC Reflections model, recruiting new foster parents, and increasing the support for our families,” Reed says.

The ARC Reflections model is part of the grant assistance and offers therapeutic resources to foster families and children working through traumatic situations. Presented in a flexible learning format, the material includes self-regulation, acceptance, and relationship-building tools. The curriculum is tailored to the type of programming Connie Maxwell seeks to offer.

“We strive to support our foster families in caring for the children who come to them. With ARC, we will be able to provide relevant trauma training for our foster families to use as a tool for promoting healing for the children in their care,” Reed says.

President Danny Nicholson says Connie Maxwell is proud to partner with the Duke Endowment. “We know that we are at the top in delivering child care because we have been so wonderful in our tradition of residential care. We continue to expand our services because the world is changing. We want to be the best we can be in all the ways that we care for children, as we love and nurture them to be whole human beings made in the image of God. It’s the gospel’s call to give them a home-like God gave each of us. That’s the passion moving Connie Maxwell forward,” Nicholson says.

“When people talk about foster care, I want to hear them say ‘Connie Maxwell’ during that conversation. I want all of the Baptist Churches in South Carolina to re-affirm their commitments to our children, and promote foster care again. There is so much we can do,” Reed says.