The Journey Home Difference
We are not your ordinary foster care agency that just drops children off at a foster family’s door, leaving the rest of the work in the hands of the foster parents. Journey Home’s purpose is to help children and support our foster parents.
At Journey Home, we understand that children learn from their experiences. Children in foster care have already had many obstacles in life, and we want their experiences in foster care with us to be positive. We desire to build lasting connections to help children realize their potential, to give them a reason to have hope, to believe in themselves again, and to begin to heal physically and mentally. We do more for our children and families than any other agency. Our children are surrounded by people that are dedicated to offering them a different path in life. We have hands on Foster Care Coordinators, Mentors that we assign to our children, and incredible activities and programs that we provide on a weekly and monthly basis. Also, our families are surrounded by opportunities to receive the support and encouragement they deserve.
The Journey Home Family/Pod Concept
At Journey Home, we strive to be a close knit and family centered agency. We believe that establishing and maintaining strong connections with our children and with other foster families is a valuable aspect of our program. While our corporate office is located in Zanesville, Ohio, and our satellite office is located in Pickerington, Ohio, we have licensed foster families throughout the state. As a result, we have developed the Journey Home Pod Concept to maintain the closeness of our families. We currently have active Pods in Muskingum County, Coshocton County, Guernsey County, Licking County and Franklin County. Each Pod is comprised of several foster families located in the same area, and is assigned a Foster Care Coordinator and Activities Leader. They work directly with the families and children in the Pod, encouraging families to work together, help each other out and become an extended family unit. Each Pod also has local respite opportunities and agency activities within the immediate community for their children and families. So, whether you live in Columbus, Akron, or Marietta, Journey Home can work for you!
Welcoming All Families
Journey Home Foster Care is welcoming to all families to join us in an amazing opportunity to make a difference in the lives of children. Join us on this Journey! Journey Home provides specialized training and guidance to help you provide a nurturing and stable home for children who have been abused or neglected.
We are always in need of parents and families who can provide:
– Homes for sibling groups of two or more
– Homes for children of all racial, ethnic, and religious backgrounds
– Homes for children of all sexual orientations
– Homes for children with behavioral, emotional, developmental, physical, and/or medical special needs
– Homes for teenagers
Journey Home does not and shall not discriminate on the basis of race, creed, gender, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, or military status.
Tedd Murphy – President & Activities Director
I was born and raised in Zanesville, Ohio. From an early age, I began helping others. I attended college at Muskingum University as well as Marietta College. In my early years, I worked with at risk youth at Zanesville-Muskingum Housing Authority as the Youth Activities Coordinator for almost 5 years. I spent 10 years coaching baseball and basketball in Zanesville as we traveled the East-Coast playing. I spent 15 years with Domino’s Pizza and decided that I wanted to take my experience and explore other avenues. During that time, I adopted 2 kids and took custody of 2 more. I have lived the world of foster care and adoption, and whole-heartedly understand the frustrations of being a parent to our kids. When Journey Home was just in the planning stages, we implemented that our agency was built on the foundation of helping foster parents and kids enjoy their time in care.
Charity Wheeler, LSW- Executive Director
I was born in Cleveland and raised primarily in St. Clairsville, Ohio by my mother and the only father I ever really knew, my step-father. My sister also had a significant hand in molding me at a young age, as my mom was a single parent for many years. I graduated from St. Clairsville High School and married my husband, John, shortly after. I attended college at Muskingum Area Technical College (now known as Zane State College) graduating with an Associate’s Degree in Applied Business specializing in Paralegal Studies. In the years following college, I worked as a legal assistant for a local attorney’s office and the county Prosecuting Attorney’s Office. When my husband and I started our family, I left the legal world and became a secretary for a small private foster care and adoption agency. Through my experiences in that role, I learned that I had a great passion for helping children in foster care. I realized that as a result of my childhood experiences, I could relate to many of the issues kids in foster care face. As a mother of two young sons and with the help of my very supportive husband, I returned to college, receiving my Bachelor’s in Social Work from Capital University and subsequently becoming a Licensed Social Worker in the State of Ohio. I have over twenty years of experience working in various roles in the social work field, from beginning as a clerical and office staff member, to being a Foster Care Coordinator, an Adoption Assessor, a Therapist and now the Director of Journey Home Foster Care. I have a strong love for children and helping them realize their worth and the opportunities/options that are available to them. I often draw from my experiences to teach children that our past does not have to define our future. I believe that life is not about where we begin, or even where our final destination is, but rather our lives are shaped by the journey we take in between, with experiences that mold us into who we become. I also believe that foster parents are very special and valuable individuals that should be supported while navigating their challenging roles as foster parents. I often tell parents that there is a reason that I sit on one side of the desk and they are on the other – I can give them tools and guidance, but I recognize that I could never do what they do. At Journey Home we strive to make the experience for children in care and foster parents positive and supportive, so that this part of their journey can be valuable and life changing.
Georganna Murphy – Owner
Former foster parent and Grandparent of 2 adopted children. Her nickname is the “Boss”. She is often seen with her her 3lb Yorkie named Murphy.
Vivian Kendall – Executive Assistant
I have over 16 years of foster care knowledge working in the industry. I’m a foster parent of 5 years and have 3 adopted children. I also have 2 kids of my own and 3 amazing grandchildren. I enjoy my 15 acres of freedom in my spare time.
Renee Miller – Office Assistant
Aka “Buni”. She is a mother of 2 wonderful daughters and 5 grandchildren. She enjoys bringing her parenting knowledge and love of kids to the foster agency.
Karee Mayle, LSW – Foster Care Coordinator
I graduated with my bachelor’s degree in Social Work from The Ohio State University in 2017. I have been working in the foster care field for 3 years but have a background in counseling youth involving drug and alcohol, criminal history, and trauma. My personal experience of growing up in foster care and being adopted as a teenager fuels my passion to help children in the system. My passion furthers daily as I get to be a part of each child’s growth while they are in our care.
Sherrie Griffin, LSW – Foster Care Coordinator
I’m from Columbus Ohio born and raised. I graduated with a MSW from The Ohio State University in 2009. I attended an HBCU Central State University and graduated with a BA in Sociology and a minor in Criminal Justice. I have over 10 years of Social Work experience in foster care and working with families. I love everything basketball and being with family and friends.
Austin King – Independent Living Coordinator
I am a Graduate of Newcomerstown High School and Muskingum University. I majored in Child & Family Studies. As a former high school basketball coach, working with our 14-18 year old youth is a dream come true. Since starting in June of 2019, seeing the progress my Independent Living kids make within their time here at Journey Home is outstanding.
Kaysey Brokaw – Activity Leader
Born and raised in Newark Ohio. I’m currently a Junior at The Ohio State University majoring in Social Work. I’ve played basketball my entire life and took my passion and love for the game to coach middle and high school basketball at Newark. My passion is helping the youth and parents at Journey Home by giving them the tools to succeed
Brandon Good – Activity Leader
I’m a Graduate of Cambridge High School and Ohio University. I enjoy traveling and hiking. I love working with kids in the community that I grew up in.
Nick Johnson, LSW – Activity Leader
I was born and raised in Coshocton, Ohio. I graduated from Mount Vernon Nazarene University in 2013 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work and a minor in Criminal Justice. Before I began working with Journey Home, I was the Associate Pastor of Student Ministries at a church in Coshocton for 7 years. While there, I was responsible for all of the church’s programs for students – from the nursery to high school activities. I have a passion for encouraging and empowering young people and their families to succeed.
Priya Tamilarasan – Board Member
Ed Reid – Board Member
Rovella Roundtree – Board Member