The Virginia Annual Conference is granted a charter from the state legislature and builds an orphanage on property in Richmond at 3900 West Broad Street.
The orphanage flourishes as a farming community and includes a school, print shop and dairy. The orphanage also operates a farm and camp in New Kent County.
At the outset of the Great Depression, many children are placed at the orphanage because of financial necessity. The number of residents peaks at 365 children.
The church devotes the month of December to raise funds for the orphanage. Prior to this, the Board requests that a 10 percent assessment on pastors’ salaries be the means of financing the orphanage operation. Farm income and, later, special church collections, provide funds to operate the orphanage.
In the years after the Social Security Act is enacted, the number of children living at the orphanage for custodial care declines due to the growing availability of public assistance for families in need.
The farm at the Broad Street site is closed, and the name of the orphanage changes to the Virginia Methodist Children’s Home. Programs now serve more children on a temporary basis and return them to their families.
To meet the changing needs of society and better identify program goals, the Annual Conference votes to change the name of the Children’s Home to United Methodist Family Services of Virginia. Now a special emphasis is placed on working with the whole family to help meet the needs of children.
Programs expand to include
adoption and foster care as well as a residential treatment program for youth, while regional centers open in Northern Virginia and Tidewater.