About UMCH

The United Methodist Children’s Home (UMCH) was established in 1871 in Norcross, GA  to care for children orphaned during the Civil War, and has evolved to serve children and families in a ‘continuum of care’ model. UMCH envisions a world where ‘all children are raised in a loving, compassionate and nurturing home.’ And it works every day toward its mission ‘to restore children and families from trauma through Jesus Christ.’ Since 1973, UMCH has cared for over 6,000 children in safe and loving foster care homes; it provides safe housing for at-risk young adults and prepares them to make positive life decisions and become productive, independent, citizens; and it strengthens and preserves at-risk families through safe housing and support services. Today, UMCH serves over 245 children and adults a day in 40 counties across North Georgia, and it delivered over 56,000 days of care in 2017.

Our mission:

We restore children and families from trauma through Jesus Christ.

Our vision:

We envision a world where every child is raised in a loving, compassionate, and nurturing home.

Our History


The Methodist Orphan’s Home dedicated in Norcross to serve children orphaned from the war. It moved to Decatur in 1873.


Residence peaks at 150 children in the 1950s and 60s.


Begin admitting children of other faiths and all races.


The state deemphasizes group homes for children under 5 and encourages foster care. UMCH’s group care ministry continues to thrive. Foster Care begins as one of the first faith-based licensed agencies in the state.


GA law requires timelines to return children to their parents or to terminate parental rights.


Campus-based group care is discontinued and Family Housing and Independent Living ministries are expanded.


Foster Care service is expanded out of a new Gainesville office.


Longstanding CEO Bev Cochran retires. He is lauded by child welfare advocates for his longstanding efforts to organize peer agencies who advocate for policies and practices that positively impact at-risk youth and families.


Rev. Hal Jones, an ordained Elder of the UMC, joins as CEO. Foster care grows from 80 children in care to 110 kids in care as a result of many new church partnerships. A new office is opened in Newnan to expand foster care south of I-20, thanks to our friends at Newnan First UMC.


UMCH moves from their campus in Decatur, GA to a new office facility in Tucker, GA.


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