A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Focus on Holly Hill Child & Family Solutions: ‘Every Child is worth saving’ drives this agency

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Partnering with Horizons Community Funds of Northern Kentucky, we’re offering a series of stories about the region’s nonprofits.

By Tess Brown
Horizon Community of Funds
Holly Hill Child & Family Solutions began its story in 1884 as an orphanage in Newport. As with many nonprofits, its structure and work has adapted to meet the changing needs of the Northern Kentucky community. The agency currently has two Northern Kentucky locations that serve more than 3,000 children and families.

Holly Hill’s California campus houses their administrative offices, as well as two cottages for their Residential Treatment program, which provides intensive therapeutic support for girls ages 11-17 with severe emotional and/or behavioral needs. The girls stay on campus for 6-9 months on average, living in a structured environment and attending school consistently.

They come from rough situations and are in the custody of the State, their past often filled with abuse, substance use, neglect, or having absolutely nowhere else to go.

The cottages are bright and peaceful. Pop music softly plays from donated radios. The space is set up like a home, with a comfortable living room-style common area, laundry room, private bedrooms, games, and other amenities that help the girls heal and feel a sense of normalcy that many of us take for granted.

A small stack of sturdy luggage and tote bags allow the girls to leave the campus with dignity, as they often arrive with their possessions in a black plastic bag, or with nothing at all. Every personal gift donated to them during their time at Holly Hill leaves with them.

The girls go on day trips, celebrate holidays and birthdays, decorate their bedroom walls, and bicker as adolescents do. Their months at Holly Hill are spent preparing for life with a better sense of coping, social and life skills, education, and personal potential. They go back to families or into foster care equipped to thrive.

Holly Hill also offers Therapy Services, Case Management, and Supervised Visitation programs at their Highland Heights office.

For Therapy Services, licensed therapists bring the entire family together with their child who is experiencing severe emotional and/or behavioral issues in order to support, educate, and improve the life of the family unit as a whole. The Case Management program seeks to preserve the family unit for children up to age 21 who are at risk of being removed from the home for complex behavioral health issues.

The Supervised Visitation program allows parents or guardians to interact with their children in a safe, neutral setting. The program stabilizes families during times of crisis, helps reduce risk of domestic violence, and promotes healthy parent/child interaction.

As somewhat of a “hidden gem,” Holly Hill wants to build awareness of their work. But once you know about their work, it will not be easily forgotten. Learn more at their website, and stay in touch for their fun “Throwback Thursdays” on Facebook.

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