Georgia Elks Aidmore Children's Center

Frequently Asked Questions About Aidmore

What principles guide the Elks Aidmore program?

The principles which govern the program are simple: that young people have a desire to learn and do well; that their feelings are intrinsically valid and quite as important as their thinking; that destructive and self-defeating behavior must be addressed and modified; that young people can help one another sort out alternatives and arrive at good choices; that the world is rich in things to learn; that life is truly to be savored at each moment; and that decent, caring adults are essential to the lives of young people if they are to grow up strong in body, quick of mind and generous in spirit.

Each youth accepted for services has an individual care plan developed that includes goals for the families/custodians as well as for the youth in care. These goals seek to:

    have reunification between the youth and the family/custodian, or to provide restructuring to the degree possible.
    stabilize the situation of the youth and family/custodian so that short-term and long-term planning can be identified and implemented.
    enhance the development of trusting relationships and a sense of belonging and security.
    assist the youth and the family/custodian in identifying problem areas and developing strategies for resolving and/or coping with these areas.

The mission of the Agency will be incorporated into practice in the following ways:

    accept both private and public placements.
    accurately assess the needs of the referral, in context of the individual and the family/custodian.
    use a holistic approach in the provision of family services, education and guidance.
    involve, and develop, significant others.
    provide appropriate role models.
    provide a structured, disciplined, caring atmosphere.
    promote spiritual, moral and educational growth.
    supplement, rather than substitute for, families/custodians.
    include expectations of the family/custodian as part of the overall process.

How is Elks Aidmore Organized?

Elks Aidmore Children's Center is the Major State Project of the Georgia Elks Association. It is governed by a Board of Trustees, which meets on a quarterly basis. An Executive Committee, made up of select members of the Board of Trustees, meets eight times a year. Other committees are appointed by the President of the Board of Trustees.

How did Elks Aidmore get started?

In the mid 1930's, funding became available to finance treatment program for indigent handicapped children. The Georgia Elks Association was one of the sponsoring agencies of an organization which came to be identified as The Georgia League for Crippled Children. By 1938, organizations other than the Elks dropped away from the League. The group was reorganized as the Crippled Children's League of Georgia. For the next 16 years, handicapped children were treated in clinics established by the League. It was during this time that a contest was held among the children being served to select a new name, hence the name Aidmore.

In 1954, the Elks Aidmore Hospital was built in Atlanta. Through a variety of collaborative arrangements, the Hospital provided medical treatment until 1976. The Hospital was terminated due to increased operating costs and the building of a competing facility on the same block. The Board of Trustees approved the sale of the property to Emory University in November of 1976.

In 1977, Elks Aidmore moved to its present location and was renamed Elks Aidmore Children's Home. The property was officially deeded to the Elks by the Frances Wood Wilson Foundation in February of 1983.

The program closed in 1992 because operating expenses of the program continued to exceed generated revenues. After months of study by four project sub-committees, the program reopened in the summer of 1993.

In May of 1996, Elks Aidmore was awarded a certificate of accreditation from the Council of Accreditation of Services for Families and Children, Inc., headquartered in New York City. After a year long self-study and an on-site inspection by external reviewers, Elks Aidmore was commended for it's high quality of service delivery. Elks Aidmore joined a nationwide community of providers that meet the highest standards of professional performance in the field of child welfare. The program was reaccredited in June of 2000.

Elks Aidmore Children's Center is a long-standing member of the Georgia Association of Homes and Services for Children and joined the Child Welfare League of America in 1994.

Where is the Elks Aidmore campus located?

The campus is situated on 125 rolling acres in Conyers, Georgia. Conyers, located in Rockdale County, is approximately 25 miles east of Atlanta on I-20. The campus facilities include an administrative building, learning center, four resident cottages, a supervised apartment for independent living, a family house, gymnasium, swimming pool, tennis courts, camping sites, ropes course, and a lake for fishing and canoeing.

How can someone be referred to Elks Aidmore?

The primary sources of referral for admission to Aidmore come from the Division of Family and Children Services and the Department of Children and Youth Services. Private referrals are considered on an individual basis. A telephone inquiry made to the staff at Aidmore is all that is needed to initiate the application process.

Who decides which applicants will be admitted to Aidmore?

Upon receipt of an application and supporting documentation, the Intake Coordinator will determine the appropriateness of the program services for the applicant and will assign the application to one of the four cottages. The cottage team will meet with the applicant, the referral source, and the family/custodian (when not the referral source and when appropriate). This meeting may take place on the Agency campus, in a family's/custodian's home, or wherever the applicant is now residing. One pre-placement visit to the Agency campus will be scheduled for all applicants. This process helps the cottage team and the family/custodian identify a plan for services.

What types of youth are considered for admission to Elks Aidmore?

Females between the ages of 12 and 21 who have been removed from their homes due to abuse, neglect and/or abandonment are eligible for placement. Consideration will be given to youth who have committed juvenile offenses for which they have been adjudicated. Residents must be able to function in a public school setting with a minimal need for special education services. Adequate funding must be available to meet the physical, emotional, and educational needs of the resident. This funding normally comes from the Division of Family and Children Services or the Department of Juvenile Justice.

How long does it normally take to complete the program at Aidmore?

An individualized care plan is developed for each resident. The length of each resident's stay at Aidmore is based upon her ability to achieve the goals outlined in the individual care plan. A normal length of stay will be 12 months, although some youth may leave in less than twelve months and some may stay substantially longer.

How is the Elks Aidmore program financed?

Support for Elks Aidmore comes from state and private reimbursements for services, lodge and auxiliary donations, special fund raising events, individual contributions and bequests, interest from investments, and grants.