Congregations for Children (C4C) began in 2012 as an initiative of the North Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church and the Western North Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church in response to the Bishops Initiative on Children and Poverty, through support of The Duke Endowment. The conferences worked collaboratively on development of mission and goals and while the mission and goals are aligned there are differences in process due to variations in conference structures.
The Western North Carolina Conference began with the Blue Ridge District as a pilot in 2013-2014, expanding into the Smoky Mountain and Catawba Valley Districts in 2014-2015 with plans for full expansion in 2015-16. However, new initiatives as well as the strengthening of existing initiatives are taking place in all districts with conference wide support.
2017-2018 plans for expansion include working with each UMC district office to develop the best process of engagement and support appropriate for each district. District and conference level C4C teams are underway. While this is an initiative of the Western North Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church the work is ecumenical and the call is for all communities of faith and community organizations to respond to the needs of children impacted by poverty in the local community.