Programs for parenting, housing among many social services offered by Hobby Horse House in Adams County

Hobby Horse House logo

QUINCY — Families often experience challenging circumstances such as divorce and adoption that can leave a lasting impact on children.

Hobby Horse House has provided support to those families for more than 20 years.

Hobby Horse House is a non-profit child welfare agency stationed in Jacksonville, but it provides services to 33 counties, including Adams County. Hobby Horse House mentions on its website that its mission is “to continue to serve and support families and children in (their) community.”

Lilly White, executive and clinical director of Hobby Horse, says the agency has several social service programs directly working to strengthen children and families. 

Some of these programs are community-based programs, while others are contracted services. Community-based programs are open to the public, while contracted services are provided with the Department of Children and Family Services. For contracted services, the DCFS will contract Hobby Horse staff to work with clients who are part of the child welfare system.

Though these programs are not always open to the public, the support and services they offer can still be provided to those seeking it.

Lilly White, executive and clinical director of Hobby Horse House | Noah Klauser

One program Hobby Horse provides is a nurturing parenting program that lasts for 16 weeks. These classes, which last for three hours, are held weekly in both Quincy and Jacksonville. This program provides a meal as well as childcare if it is needed.

“We are working with parents … to improve parenting skills, to strengthen communication in the family, as well as provide positive parenting methods,” White said.

Anyone can participate in these classes, but Hobby Horse offers in-home services as well to families involved in the child welfare system.

The nurturing parenting program uses a pretest and post test to evaluate parenting skills and methods and view changes made during the 16 weeks. The post test is administered at the end of the program to see what has been learned. 

Each class within this program has an evidence-based and evidence-informed curriculum.

“The focus is … altering any maladaptive beliefs that a parent may have regarding parenting skills, and basically teaching them a nurturing manner in which to parent and to strengthen their family situations,” White said.

Hobby Horse is working with the DCFS on a housing advocacy program created “to assist clients in crisis to find and maintain adequate housing,” according to a brochure. This program will provide information and consultation. It also will offer help applying for subsidized housing and obtaining housing. Follow-up services are provided to ensure housing arrangements are stable for the client.

Hobby Horse originally provided for five counties. Fundraising efforts and donations now enable the agency to serve 33 counties and hundreds of families.

“I envision that we will continue to grow as far as the service programs that we provide, and as well as the coverage area,” White said.

Noah Klauser is a Quincy native and a Culver-Stockton College student serving as an intern for Muddy River News during the spring semester.

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