Growing With The Need

Kathleen Reynolds, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Generations, was inspired and challenged by former SC State Senator Nell Smith to put an end to the generations of troubled children who were growing up in locked residential institutions. An increasing number of “system’s kids” were emerging; many of them troubled and abused teens who frequently disrupted foster placements and traditional group care. Most alarming was the terrible cycle of sexual abuse that was being repeated by these boys. Emotional, physical, and sexual abuse issues had to be addressed to stop this cycle. 

Generations’ goal was to create a warm home-like setting in which to provide specialized services for these sexually abusive behavior problems. Committed to community safety, the Horizons High Management program was created with an increased staff to resident ratio and a positive-peer based milieu without fences, locks, or isolation rooms. 

Established in April 1991, Generations' initial program served 12 troubled boys. After turning down 42 boys in the first year, Generations increased capacity to serve 20 boys by the end of 1992. In 1995, the Horizons program expanded again to add a step-down program for another 12 boys. 

In 1998, Generations added the Bridges campus to provide services to 26 boys placed by the Department of Juvenile Justice. 

Today, Generations has the total capacity to serve 46 boys and has provided services to over 800 boys since opening in 1991. Our staff continue to serve as a “surrogate family”, our residents are the “children”, and the entire program has become its own “community”. No matter what the event in the child’s life, we must be present and consistent if we expect our boys to progress and believe in change. Generations provides a unique environment that offers a true second chance and promotes lasting change.

Our next big step forward is adding our third campus, Pathways PRTF.  This psychiatric residential treatment facility was licensed in July 2011. Here up to 30 more children, who are unable to function in their community or in a group home setting because of their complex needs, will received much needed treatment. 

Adding the psychiatric residential treatment component to Generations’ current services will allow us to provide services along a continuum of care – boys who are in the group homes who need more intensive treatment may be served in the PRTF and boys who have stabilized in the PRTF but are not ready for home may be served in the group homes.