My wife and I have been married for just shy of three years and we have two children: a 2 1/2 year old son, and a 1 year old daughter. We have been pouring through many of the postings aimed at newbies and the sharing of fears and trials faced by many. We are curious to know how many HPs started off with children under 5 years old or have since becoming an HP have had children.
After contacting the first home to schedule a trip to check out the facilities I was told that my wife and we should wait several years before thinking about becoming HPs. My wife and I don’t think that we are signing up for extended summer camp or anything like that but we would like to hear from those who have been there and are there whether we are this first administrator’s advice was her opinion or a shared opinion by many HPs.
We have both served with children in various roles for a most of our adult life and although we are only 30 years old, we feel that we can be useful and teachable to children if God allows us to do this. We want to be diligent and truly seek God’s will and to also be willing to listen to advice of those who are willing to share it.
Please let us know what ya’ll think about starting off as HPs with young biological children.
I am not sure what kind of home you are looking to get into, but I would think that if you really feel that this is what you want to be doing, then a basic care facility would probably be fine for you.
In the way of age my wife and I had only been married 3 years and were only 23 years old when we began houseparenting. There are several others on this forum that were the same age when they began, so I don’t believe that you have to be “older” to make a great houseparent. Having kids does make things tougher.
This job is certainly one that requires 100% commitment. If you aren’t sure that this is what you want to do or you don’t feel that God has called you down this path, then DON’T do it. It will be far worse for your family and the kids at the home if you are just testing the waters to see what it is like. However, just the fact that you are asking these questions and inquiring on a forum, seems to imply that you are serious.
I would continue looking at other places. At least some of them will allow you to come to the facility and take a tour and see how things are done.
I agree with all Seamus had to say. Many of the HP’s at our facility started their career here having one or two toddlers.
My wife and I had our daughter here. Besides her puking all over the place every couple of hours, it has been pretty smooth.
Seamus is right about a basic care facility. Definitely do your homework- talk with others on the board about potential facilities, stay far, far away from any facility that has a restraint policy (Not good for your family to be involved in that environment, IMO), and talk to other HP’s at the facilities you are talking with.
I hate to push anything that looks like we are trying to hustle you, but the members only services on the main board is very cool. You get email alerts from facilities that are looking, your resume posted online for facilities to view (We hired one couple off of there), and listings of all known facilities in the US. Just cause they don’t post on the job listings site doesn’t mean they are not looking.
Keep in mind some facilities, especially those starting at higher than average pay scale, will want some experience and stability in your marriage before considering you. Then again there is always exceptions (Your 30 years old, married for three years, independently wealthy, etc..) I also believe that if God wants it to be, it will be and there is nothing that will stand in the way of that.
Great questions with great input back. Different facilities have different views on bio children. I raised my kids in this ministry and overall it has been very positive. Some issues I would consider:
1) Make sure you understand the word SUPERVISION. This is the key in my opinion.
2) What are the issues of the kids you will be working with and how well does the facility follow their guidelines in this area.
3) You ability to be impartial and fair. The “ranch kids” and “my kids” mentality doesn’t seem to work well. These kids need to know they belong and your kids need to be secure, can be tricky sometimes.
4) Considering #3, How well you can work through the resentment both your kids and the placed kids will have toward each other (sure to happen). This can be a great opportunity to teach and make break throughs with both Bio and placed kids. In my opinion this can be a strength of having bio kids in a program. Making sure you have the same or close to the same standards will be helpful.
5) How are bio kids viewed by the facility and admin? Are they included in activities, holidays etc.? It can be hard to manage your own if they feel left out.
6) Use your respite/time off wisely with your kids
7) Understand and discuss the sacrifices your family will make.
8) Once in the ministry keep yourselves and your kids focused on all the positives this ministry has to offer rather than the sacrifices. I have been blessed as a house parent to experience many things in my children’s growing up that I would have missed in my old 9-5.
9) Actually #1 “WHERE GOD GIVES A VISION HE GIVES A PROVISION” Once God has confirmed in your hearts the call trust that He has it worked out.
This is the greatest ministry in the world in my opinion and these kids need passionate, loving, and called messengers of God in their lives!