In 1897, Charleston resident Claudia Tharin came across a newspaper article about the suicide attempt of a young, unmarried pregnant woman who had come to Charleston to give birth. Ms. Tharin was so touched by this young woman’s story that she, along with a group of Charleston women, established the Christ Love Mission, a network of altruistic volunteers who provided support and limited residential care in their own homes to single pregnant women and mothers in need. This revolutionary new movement was soon supported by Kate Waller Barrett, MD, one of the first female pediatricians in the United States. In 1899, Dr. Barrett invited Charles Crittenton to visit the Charleston program’s small office at 10 Washington Street. Mr. Crittenton made a financial contribution, and the agency name was changed to The Florence Crittenton Home and Hospital, now known as Florence Crittenton Programs of South Carolina.
Florence Crittenton Programs of South Carolina offers education, counseling services, medical care, social support, and a safe environment for pregnant and parenting young women who are in need of extra support. FCSC offers a Residential Program for young women who are pregnant and a Family Development Program for single parents with low income.
The Residential Program includes 24/7 care, medical and prenatal care, education and career development, childbirth and parenting education, life skills development, and culturally enriching activities. The program also offers case management assistance and postpartum planning and referrals. Young mothers who have successfully completed the Residential Program are may extend their care for up to six months after delivery through the Postpartum Mother and Baby Program.
The Family Development Program is a comprehensive community based, in-home support services for single parents with at least one child under the age of five that have low-income. The program aims to increase their young mother’s ability to meet the physical, social, emotional, and cognitive needs of their children during the early developmental stages. Mothers have access to individual and family counseling, continuing education and career growth, and independent living skill development. Further supports are available for families experiencing homelessness that provide opportunities for subsidized rent.
The state’s only residential home that serves at-risk pregnant teens and young women has welcomed a new Executive Director. With her eyes focused firmly on the future, Caitlin Waddington, LISW-CP is the right choice to take the more than 120-year-old organization to the next level with stability, experience and compassion. Caitlin joins Florence Crittenton as a child, family and community advocate. Caitlin holds a Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education & Child Life (hospitalized children) from Wheelock College, a Master’s degree in Social Work via Clark-Atlanta University and a post-graduate Certificate in Educational Administration & Leadership from Georgia State University. She has worked with children and families since 1992 in the areas of hospice, traumatic brain injury, school social work, private practice play therapy, counseling and clinical supervision. Caitlin’s previous role as Director of the Nantucket Community School was focused on developing partnerships and creating programs that engage, strengthen and connect the Nantucket community.