For 12 years, the mission of the Family Time Community Visitation Center has been to provide families separated by abuse or neglect with safe, supportive, supervised visitation in order to heal, grow, and reunify.
Today, we are announcing that the program will be closing its doors this summer.
Many challenges have led to this decision - including increased cost of operations, challenges in fundraising and meeting grant requirements, staff turnover and more. It was an extremely difficult decision that we struggled with for over a year, but it is the right decision given the circumstances.
Back in 2006, recognizing the gap in services regarding supportive and effective family visitation in our community, the Athens-Oconee CASA program began looking for ways to fill that gap. This desire to meet the needs of families led to the establishment of Family Time and the eventual creation of Children First, Inc. as an umbrella organization with several different programs. Over the years, Family Time went from 1 part time employee providing family visitation in the community - borrowed church playrooms, the library, etc - to 2 full time employees working out of our own beautiful Ralph Stephens Family Visitation Center at the Pope Street Cottage. This growth was due to the generosity and dedication of our community and we cannot thank you enough for your support over the years.
Though we are sad to close the program this summer, we know that the work done by Family Time - the hope given to families, the precious time to heal and grow, the dedication to best practices, and the unique nature of the program - is worth celebrating. Family Time has changed lives over the past 12 years.
Join us in celebrating the good work that Family Time has done in our community! Thursday, May 30th, from 4-6pm, we will come together to celebrate and say farewell to the Family Time Community Visitation Center. Please join us for refreshments and memories at the Pope Street Cottage - 693 North Pope Street, Athens, GA 30601