Sparking a Community of Hope

  • An ember ignites, creating a spark, symbolizing a life is ready for change. After the fire fades, an ember burns waiting for the chance to spark. An ember is the first breath. If there is an ember – there is hope.

EmberHope Youthville is a nonprofit, faith-based agency providing resources and support to inspire hope in thousands of at-risk youth and families each year. Through our foster care, residential, and counseling programs, we use trauma-informed practices focused on the needs of the individual allowing them to become a catalyst of change.

Mission :
Sparking change to improve lives.

Vision :
Improve the lives of at-risk youth and families by offering innovative programs rooted in faith to inspire hope.

I-Care Values : 

Integrity – Maintain high ethical standards with honesty and reliability

Culturally Sensitive – Recognize and integrate cultural differences, values, and attitudes

Accountable – Achieve results efficiently with fiscal responsibility and compliance with regulatory bodies. 

Respect – Honor the dignity and basic rights of all people

Excellence – Perform all work and services with exceptional standards

Long-Term Vision:
Provide a safe and supportive environment for those we serve and employ through knowledge, sensitivity and respect for the impact of trauma with a focus on resilience and recovery. Provide a quality driven organizational climate where clients served are safe and stable and successfully complete their program. One in which stakeholders, staff and clients are satisfied, valued and respected. Maintain a defined financial position that will ensure long term sustainability and growth through focused adherence to budget, diverse programming and renewed philanthropic giving.

Program and Person-Centered Philosophy :
The foundation of service is based on trauma informed care designed to meet every client at their level of need. Persons served will provide the primary direction in guiding their services and developing their plan of care. Service is founded on the following principles:

  • Services must be driven by the client.
  • Services are individualized based on strengths and vulnerabilities.
  • Services are delivered in a manner that reflects personal preferences and choices.
  • Services are provided within the context of nurturing relationships.
  • Services includes parents, caregivers, and other significant adults in a child’s life, whenever possible.
  • Services are developmentally, culturally and spiritually relevant to the child and their family.

EmberHope Youthville respects the youth we serve and their families and caregivers. Our goal is to protect the rights of our clients. We will provide care in a manner intended to be respectful of personal values and beliefs and sensitive to cultural, racial, religious and other differences. We will not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, or disability.

Spark Change

In the early 1920s, the United Methodist Church recognized the need for a residence for homeless and abandoned children. The mission was adopted to provide shelter and care to these children. The church’s mission quickly became a reality when Mr. Edward P. Libbey of Newton left the bulk of his estate to the project, and the City of Newton followed by leading fundraising efforts. These efforts led to the purchase of 20 acres of land for an orphanage, which became the site of the Kansas Methodist Home for Children.

Libbey Hall, named after Mr. Libbey, was built in 1929. The campus also included an orchard, barns, a farmhouse, stables, granaries, cow lots and chicken houses. Over the next three decades, a chapel and residential cottages were also built.

In 1960, the board of trustees changed the agency name to Methodist Youthville. They also approved a plan that focused on providing services to adolescent youth with emotional or social adjustment problems. That same year, our organization was asked to assume management of the Bronco Busters Boys Ranch in Dodge City.

In 1971, the board of trustees officially changed the agency name to United Methodist Youthville, Inc.



In 1972, the agency began a family foster home program in the Newton community.

In 1996, Kansas became the first state in the nation to fully privatize its adoption, foster care and family preservation services. Our agency also began serving youth and families as part of the Region 5 foster care/reintegration contract.

Our organization expanded into mental health services in 2007 by acquiring Family Consultation Service.

In 2011, we began serving families in Washington state through a parenting support contract with the state.

In 2012, Youthville Family Consultation Service became FCS Counseling.

After eight decades of providing quality services to children in foster and residential care, Youthville was renamed EmberHope in 2013 to encompass our expanding services in counseling and behavioral health, as well as the launch of a new program, STRIVE independent living.

Our Youthville foster care program also expanded in 2013 by adding services in the state of Texas.

All of our programs aim to spark change and enable people of all ages to improve their lives. We are supporting a community of hope.


Youth Residential Center (YRCII)-PRTF Diversion This YRCII serves girls who have a well-established pattern of conduct that may include antisocial, oppositional, defiant, aggressive, abuse, impulsive, or other high-risk behaviors. Our goal is to address and correct these behaviors through trauma-informed services. In addition, girls served in this program have recently discharged from a Psychiatric Residential Treatment Facility (PRTF) or are on the PRTF wait list.

An ember ignites, creating a spark, symbolizing a life is ready for change. After the fire fades, an ember burns waiting for the chance to spark. An ember is the first breath. If there is an ember – there is hope.

Change Kansas’s adoption

EmberHope Youthville is excited to be implementing Wendy’s Wonderful Kids (WWK), a signature program of the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption that will bring children waiting to be adopted from foster care one step closer to safe, loving and permanent homes.

The Foundation provides grants to adoption agencies to hire and train WWK adoption recruiters who implement the Foundation’s Child-Focused Recruitment Model. In 2011, a rigorous five-year national evaluation by Washington, D.C.-based Child Trends revealed that a child referred to the Wendy’s Wonderful Kids program is up to three times more likely to be adopted, especially older youth groups and children with special needs.

Each year, many children in foster care turn 18 and leave the child welfare system without permanent families. Through the Wendy’s Wonderful Kids program, EmberHope Youthville can focus dedicated time to matching children waiting in foster care the longest with families planning to adopt. Every day, we strive to find forever homes for Kansas children.

The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption is the only public nonprofit charity in the United States that is focused exclusively on foster care adoption. Learn more

EmberHope Youthville is proud to be a Wendy’s Wonderful Kids grant recipient. Every day, we strive to find forever homes for Kansas children.