About Us

A Place for Me

At the Open Arms Home for Children, we believe that healing and learning take place when a child’s deepest needs are met, both physically and mentally. We are dedicated to helping children who have been abused and neglected by recognizing their emotional, behavioral and familial problems and providing quality short-term residential care that includes access to life enrichment and character building programs.

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  • Mike Rutan  Open Arms Home for Children is very pleased to announce that we have a new Director, Mike Rutan, who began his duties on Monday, May 14, 2018. Mike has extensive experience providing oversight to group homes, as well as having a master’s degree in Business. Mike has several years of experience with case management, child protective services, and providing direct services. The Open Arms Board of Directors feels that Mike will fit very well with the current team of staff at the organization.
    Mike is married, has two children, and lives in the North Georgia Mountains. Please join us in welcoming Mike Rutan to Open Arms! Please feel free to contact him with any questions, and with any residential candidates for the program as we currently have vacancies. Open Arms Home for Children is a Base Level facility for young ladies ages 12 – 17.


University of South Carolina, BA Business Administration and Minor in Engineering, 2001

Baker Center for Graduate Studies, MS Business Administration, 2007

Concentration in Non-Profit Finances, Risk Management, and Human Resources

Professional Activities – Highlights

2016 – Certified CPR/FA Instructor

2012 – Certified North Carolina Interventions Instructor

2016-2018 Child Protective Services

2010-2016 Program Manager of Group Homes

2008- 2010 Brenham State Supported Living Center Investigator

New Human Services Professional!!

  • Sarah Tuner – • Open Arms Home for Children is excited to announce that Sarah Turner has become our new Human Services Professional this October 2020. Kyleen has a BA in Psychology and has a long history of mentoring and working with young ladies in need.  Sarah has a lot of experience working in foster care both as a caseworker and as a supervisor with DFCS.  Her experience will be a tremendous asset to us!!  As the Human Services Professional she is responsible for making sure the needs of the young girls are met. Sarah is passionate that the girls not only are provided with a safe and nurturing environment, but also strives to provide a strong role model as well as a non-judgmental voice of reason. The young ladies in the home have stated how comfortable they are with speaking with Sarah about situations that they find themselves and appreciate her honesty and insight.


  • Bachelor’s in Religious Studies and Psychology – Gardner-Webb University, Boiling Springs, NC

Executive Board

  • Peter Knutzen - President Peter brings 20 years of executive level sales and marketing to the Open Arms Board. Peter is also a Blue Ridge real Peter Knutzenestate developer, currently developing Old Toccoa Farm.Past Board Member – Blue Ridge Mountain Arts Association, Founding Member – Project Healing Waters, Blue Ridge, Past Executive Committee Member for the Georgia Children’s Health Alliance, 2007 graduate of the Georgia Academy for Economic Development – Leadership Program, 2007 & 2008 graduate of the University of Georgia Fanning Institute Leadership Program.
  • Phillip Kolodziej – Vice President
  • Nikki Mull – Secretary
  • Rita Kirby – Treasurer

Board Members

• Elizabeth Lynch
• Jack Meunier
• Jeff Lake
• Paul Dodsworth

Enrichment Partners

  • Studio 1 Performing Arts
  • Old Toccoa Farm
  • Blue Ridge Cotton Company & Gather
  • Blue Ridge Mountain Outfitters
  • Harry Norman, REALTORS
  • Project Chimps