- Associated Press - Tuesday, March 3, 2015

YORK, Neb. (AP) - After historically only housing boys, the Epworth Village in York will open a home for troubled girls in two months.

The York News-Times (http://bit.ly/1EdCPXp ) reports that Harrietta Reynolds, Epworth Village CEO, says that the agency has been in rebuilding mode for the last eight months. According to Reynolds, girls will be housed in an empty building on Epworth’s campus, and they will each have their own room. The target date for the arrival of the first group of girls is May 1.

“There is a great need for residential care for girls, especially in the part of the state west of Lincoln,” Reynolds said. “These girls will come from all over the state, through the probation system as the boys now do as well. With the changes in the state, they will come with a probation officer rather than a case worker through Health and Human Services.”

Epworth will initially take in five girls between the ages of 14 and 18 from the state’s probation system, and is looking to hire eight behavioral interventionalists for the new group of residents.

“We are starting the hiring process now,” Reynolds said, noting they will be “starting out small and growing over time. We will take five girls to start, iron out all the wrinkles and train, train, train our staff. We are looking to hire eight behavioral interventionalists. These people will be with the girls in the cottage and at the school.”

In recent years, Epworth has had to rely on state funding as 30 to 35 other similar agencies have closed. Epworth managed to stay open despite having to reduce its staff from 150 to 46.

The last time the United Methodist agency provided temporary residential services for girls was 1990.

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Information from: York News-Times, http://www.yorknewstimes.com

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