UMFS Lynchburg relocates office in effort to expand service in community

Published: Nov. 13, 2023 at 7:49 AM EST
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LYNCHBURG, Va. (WDBJ) - A non-profit in Lynchburg has helped countless children find new homes and forever families through foster care and adoption.

United Methodist Family Services was founded in 1900 as an orphanage, but now this statewide organization has seven locations providing community-based and residential services to kids and families in need across the state.

“We’ve been serving the Lynchburg area for quite a while. We moved an office into the Lynchburg area in 2014, just out of seeing the need to serve that area and serve that population based on the number of family and children, they were serving in the area,” said UMFS South & West Region Regional Director Holly Coates.

UMFS Lynchburg specializes in treatment foster care, adoption and prevention services, serving the Roanoke, Bedford and Appomattox counties.

“We are with families from the beginning. From the time that they come to us and say ‘I’m interested in this; can you tell me more’ to the time when they have a child placed in their homes and they are finalizing their adoption and then even after that, we provide services that are available to families. The thing that is so important and would be comforting to me as a foster family is to know that each step of the way you’re only committing to the next steps,” said Coates.

UMFS Lynchburg recently relocated to Heritage Methodist Church at 582 Leesville Road. Coates said the move will allow the nonprofit to deepen its connection with the local community.

“When you’re in the church or in where you started or connected to your roots, you’re able to serve a wider community, but you’re also able to be part of a bigger community, so that helps expand our reach as an organization, it helps us get our message out, it helps us to be part of something even bigger than our organization. But also helps the Heritage Church, spread their message and get their message out in terms of how they want to help and serve their community as well,” said Coates.

Coates said the greatest need in Lynchburg right now is foster families. For more information on all services UMFS provides visit