Being a Good Birth Parent Won’t Make You a Good Houseparent!

As, I believe, the successful parent of two birth children I have to say that being a successful parent does not insure that you will be a successful houseparent.

I have spoke with many people that were interviewing to be first time houseparents tell me how being successful as parents of birth children will help them to be great houseparents only to come to me about three months later and confess how wrong they were. That parenting other people’s children is very different from parenting your own.

Unless you have successfully parented birth children that have been abused and/or neglected, lived in extreme poverty, been raised in a family where crime was not only condoned but encouraged, or had behavioral disorders you are probably going to have to learn a whole new set of parenting skills.

Additionally, the children you care for will not have the same relationship with you that your birth children have. Their blood bond will not be with you but with the abusive, neglectful or dysfunctional family they are not currently living with yet in most cases will continue to love.

Not that your previous parenting skills will be worthless either, they will be very useful in other areas of household management like scheduling, working with schools, etc. What I am referring to is how you will need new skills to deal with the many new behaviors that you probably never had to deal with raising your birth children.

The only solution is training. Either through your facility or on your own, but being a good houseparent takes training. Most facilities provide initial training that is very important. Pay attention and participate. You will also want to attend any additional training that they provide and if they provide reimbursement for outside training I would take advantage of all that time would allow for.

If your facility does not provide training or only minimal training and you want to continue to stay there, you need to get the training on your own. There are several books I can recommend: No Such Thing As a Bad Kid!: Understanding and Responding to the Challenging behavior of Troubled Children and Youth — By: Charles D. Appelstein and Respecting Residential Work with Children -By: James R. Harris Jr., M.A. are two very good books to start with. There are also several others that I have read and reviewed on my site. Buy them from me or from somebody else, but please don’t fall into the I don’t need any extra training trap. There are also usually several opportunities to attend seminars in the community. You can find them through local colleges, schools and family service organizations.

If you are thinking about becoming a houseparent and want to get a head start on training you might want to sign up for foster parent training either through your local family services department or through a private agency. Before my wife and I became houseparents we were foster parents and the training we received during that certification process has been invaluable throughout our houseparenting career.

Training and experience will make you a good houseparent!!


Launchpad 

My in-laws retired a few months ago and decided to become houseparents. They raised a great family that lives for the Lord, now they are going thru quite a change up in how these kids behave differently from their own! I’m calling them tonight to have them read this it will definitely help them feel much better. Thanks!!!


Coach4HIM 
I agree with you about the training and experience but, I think it also takes some natural ability (talent) and also patience, and a good spiritual life.

How do you let them go?

Seamus

Hi Everyone!

This is my first post. My wife has been posting for months now (bakergirl), but I just got around to doing this. We’ve been houseparents for about 8 months now, but 7 of those 8 have been as relief, and we are now opening a brand new home that we are the hps of. We took in our first kid (5 yrs old) 3 weeks ago and its been amazing, but different. We have been working with teenage girls for relief and now we will have boys and the first is only 5!

Anyways, my question is how do you deal with parents that have been abusive, served time, but still have visitation rights and get to come and pick up a kid for several hours? I can’t stand it! When they come over I just want to slam the door in their face at the very least. This kid is perfect – he even LIKES taking his bath and going to bed at night – yet we have to allow is abuser access! I know that I can only hope that nothing happens and report it if it does but how do control the anger you feel toward someone like that?

I pray that God will give me patience and understanding and so far I have been patient, but it tears me up inside to let him go with them.

Thanks in advance for any help.

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webmaster

The best piece of advice I can give you is DON”T MAKE THE PARENTS YOUR ENEMY!! If the children you care for get the impression that you have made their parents your enemy they will in 99% of the cases take the side of the birth parent. Even at a very young age. In most cases children that are placed in care with loving people that provide everything they need both physically and emotionally would rather be with their birth parents even if it means they will be living in the back of a van on the street, getting a meal every other day, and sitting alone while their parents are in the bar drinking until two in the morning. I have seen this in children as young as three years old.

We have to do our best to work with the birth parents and remain neutral with the children. Be honest with the children, but do it in such a way as it doesn’t appear that you are attacking their parents. A new trend in residential care is family centered services, where the facility and system work with the parents and provide training, counseling, job training, etc. They have found that working with the whole family is much more effective than just removing the children only to send them back to the same situation they left. Hopefully your state is doing something like that, if not become an advocate for it. Read some of Charles Applestein’s stuff. I have reviews of his books on my main site.

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Seamus

I never let the child know that I feel this way. I act excited that he is getting to see his parents and am excited that they give him gifts (even if they look like something that came from the trash can). I know that the child can NEVER know that I have these feelings because we do work with the families and our intent is to be able to put these families back together in a way that is more positive and much safer for the child. I’ve worked with many teenagers, but in many cases they are different. Their parents often want nothing to do with them. Now I’m in a situation where they parents would be at our house 2-3 days a week each if they could. Seeing parents as often as I do and listening to their lies to the kids is so hard! But, thanks so much for the advice, I will be actively trying to not create enemies.

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webmaster

Here is something else that might help you, it was shared with my by a supervisor that I trust.

Try to keep in mind that regardless of how things turn out, it is good for the children to have spent time with you especially it they get the opportunity to experience having their needs met, to experience love and affection, to learn morality and social skills, to receive a better education, etc.

Regardless of what else happens, it is better for the children RIGHT NOW.

They will remember that all their lives, even if they develop a resentment for the system or facility. They will always remember houseparents that have made a difference just as they do those that were negative or abusive.

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dmitchell_00

I am a foster parent so my situation is a little different but still we deal with parents that don’t understand how to meet their child’s needs. It is frustrating but we still respect them and every time I know that I will be in contact with them I pray that God will give me the opportunity to show his love to them. It is hard to let my negative emotions show after praying such a prayer. Good luck

Fly With Christ

Teaching Family Model Any feedback?

Launchpad

I have been looking into the Family Teaching Model and getting ready to do training on it next week. I have been very impressed with what I have seen and read so far. The residents behavior and the communication between Admin, residents and staff have been nothing short of amazing. Again- from what I have seen so far.

Does anyone have a working knowledge of the Family Teaching Model? What are the comparisons, if known, in regards to CPI and/ or TCI?

Advantages/ Disadvantages of the FTM?

I’m looking for your honest opinion, so feel free to let the good, the bad and the ugly roll.

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webmaster

Would like to help you on this, but I don’t have the personal knowledge to give an opinion. None of the three facilities I have worked for used it. My wife used a morphed version of it in a facility she worked at during our sabbatical, that was not a good experience.

But to be fair, it wasn’t a true version of the FTM.

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teacher

I am currently at a facility that utilizes the Teaching Family Model, and I love it. I could not imagine being a houseparent without it. It allows for consistency. The kids know what consequences (good or bad) that follow their actions. It also allows HPs to show the kids how their actions will help them or stop them from reaching their goals. The TFM is also very user friendly. I give it two thumbs up!

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Launchpad

Thank you! We start training Monday, but so far from what I have seen in some of the other cottages I have been absolutely amazed. It is a better system and support structure than what I have seen before. I have also noticed a lot of (positive) dialogue between the staff.

 Some areas remind of the Boys Town model and the specific skills seem to be the same. This system seems to function a little more smoothly than what I worked before on the Boys Town model. (In fairness to Boys Town we probably were not running the program 100% at the facility I was with).

I take it we are at the same facility? (Your profile has you in SC) If so I hope we have meet or soon will. I really feel blessed being here. 

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Housepop

My wife and I used the Boys Town Model in the first children’s home we worked in and it was very good for keeping things consistent and clear. Like you said the boys we worked with always knew what the consequence would be and what to expect if they stepped out of line. It gave us the basis and skills to go on to other houseparent positions and do well when they did not have a program that was as good or as organized. As the webmaster always says though it is not the program it is the people. You still have to have the skills and the gifts to make it work and also I believe the call of God to continue. I think you will like it and gain much from it. 

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Housepop

In the teaching family model you use is there a skill for positive attitude? If so I would love to have that please. All help would be appreciated. Thanks so much.

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Launchpad

I had a response from someone that has not worked or seen the program in action. Their concern was that the program would be “Clinical” and very restrictive on the kids freedom. The kids here have way more freedom and responsibility than the other two facilities I have been with. It seems the kids here can be just that- kids. The responsibility they have for their own actions is amazing. The FT’s I have seen in action displayed the utmost in professionalism.

I am very impressed (So Far).

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foshgirl

Can someone explain exactly what this is? All I can find online (even on the TFM website) is a vague description of how it reinforces good behaviors or something like that. Can you explain in basic practical terms how this system differs from any other? Or a sample situation/conversation in which you would use it and how?

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Launchpad

Sorry for such a delay in responding. I was hoping someone with much more experience and background in the Teaching Family Model would be able to respond… I guess not 

So gathering from my extensive week long training and actually working with the kids for all of three days; here goes it.

FTM focuses on the behavior of the child. Not just the negative but the positive. It is a point based system where the child is responsible for the outcome of their week.

The difference I have seen (so far) in this program and the other two programs I have worked in the past has been very drastic. Everyone is evaluated. From the kids all the way up to the administration is evaluated and receives feedback from everyone else. The kids evaluate the Family Teachers and so on.

The kids have self government and are invested in the program. It is a B- Mod program but from what I have seen so far the kids have WAY more freedom than any facility I have seen to date. I believe the difference is in this program is the boundaries are extremely clear to not only the kids but the Family Teachers as well. There is a much higher accountability of Family teachers. All communication with the kids is done in a calm manner, very professionally.

I wish I could say that I was one those HP’s that had a calm easy temperament all the time with all of the kids I have worked with in the past. After going thru the FTM training I found myself wishing I had some of the skills the program mandates you use with program. For example, working a solid month straight at the boys ranch I would find myself using no rationals when trying to correct a kid. There were times when I would want a kid to behave in a certain way just because I said so. Another example- If a kid rolled his eyes at my last facility, most of the time I would let it go, I have to save the consequences for the big stuff. With a point system the kid is invested in I can address the eye rolling and correct the tiny behaviors before the kid gets all worked up and has a bigger issue.

The kids also don’t get buried alive in consequences. There have been quite a few times in the past I would really turn the screws down tight on a kid because of their behavior. Looking back on it now, I probably did more to escalate the kid rather than help make a change in their behavior. From my own personal experience a facility without a program and specific guidelines is just a act of frustration for the HP and the kids. instead of creating a least restrictive environment, they are creating more restriction.

Communication on every level is done very professionally. I guess when everyone is being evaluated by everyone else, using courtesy, tact and professionalism is just part of everyday business.

So far I am impressed. I am also being challenged. I have found a program and facility where the HP is considered a professional. I am required to learn and develop new ways of ministering to those in my charge. I am expected to receive feedback in professional evaluations and learn from them. I work with competent Family Teachers who see this as a profession and ministry, not a glorified baby sitter.

This is my view of the FTM program to date. I have worked with alot of other HP’s in other programs that were every bit as committed to the kids and the HP profession as a whole. Matter of fact my heart is still in Georgia at my last facility with alot of people that I hold in the highest regard. I am just very happy to have the opportunity to see another program, feel challenged to develop myself and to be considered a professional. 

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Launchpad

QUOTE

In the teaching family model you use is there a skill for positive attitude? If so I would love to have that please. All help would be appreciated. Thanks so much.

Acepting Feedback

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dontlietokids.net

Wow….the children “rate” the staff?! While that wouldn’t bother me, I know of very few House Parents who could/would tolerate that!

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Launchpad

Yeah I wasn’t real stoked about it at first, but I have actually came to like the idea. You have to keep in mind some kids are going to have issue with a HP, but if you your seeing consistent complaints about being an abusive jerk from all the kids, chances are you just might be. At the very least it gives the powers that be a heads up. It also sends a very strong message to the kids that their opinions matter and actually count for something.

I really think that HP’s that have issue with a regular evaluation from others is just afraid to be held accountable for their own actions and probably extremely insecure. Same goes for admin. When you have a 360 degree eval and the people under you that you never really thought of acting like a professional with can make you think twice. 

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dontlietokids.net

Oh it wouldn’t bother me, but most HP’s I know would hate the idea.

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webmaster

 I try to be fair, and have been more than happy (kinda) to apologize when I am wrong.

I’m not perfect, but I think I wouldn’t want to be a houseparent if I thought I had to fear what the children would say about me in an evaluation.

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sunbeam

We do not have a point system. From others I have talked with they were not really pleased with always making a child work on a card or board.

I do agree with the praise. All our kids here before coming here is negativity.

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Launchpad

I agree with grace and sunbeam. Honestly my struggle now is praise. The program seems like it is built on it. If you think its easy giving praise try it for a day. Every single time one of your kids has a behavior problem try giving them praise first for something they are doing right, followed by emphatic statement, followed by a rational and then a consequence.

That much praise seems good on paper, but try it. Most of us do not operate that way. It is starting to seem more natural, but I still feel corny giving constant praise. But hey, I can’t argue with results. The kids on this campus are functioning on much higher behavior and academic level than what I ever imagined.

Is Houseparenting for me?

louisville parents

Hey,

My name is Tim. My wife and I have been considering becoming house parents for several weeks now. Your material on houseparent.net has been very helpful to us, thank you. We will be making this decision within the next 6-12 months. We’d like to visit many homes and talk with lots of houseparents in the mean time.

So, I don’t even know what I don’t know. What questions should I be asking these homes and myself?

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louisville parents

Ok, let me add a little bit here.

My wife Laura and I are both 28, we have been married 3yrs and we have a one year old daughter, Teresa.

I have worked as a campus pastor at the University of Louisville for 4 years.

Along with my work on campus I have attended seminary, and worked as a substitute teacher and freelance musician.

My wife worked as a secretary for two years and has been a stay at home mom since the birth of our daughter.

Both of us studied music education in college.

Basically, what we want to know is:

What do you wish you had known when considering becoming a houseparent?

What are the most important character traits and job skills we must have to be successful HPs?

If you could suggest one book to read to prepare for becoming an HP what would it be?

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webmaster

I would suggest two books: Respecting Residential Work with Children -By: James R. Harris Jr., M.A and No Such Thing As a Bad Kid!: Understanding and Responding to the Challenging behavior of Troubled Children and Youth — By: Charles D. Appelstein

I also recommend everything I and others have written on this site. The old forum archive has a lot of good information as well as the houseparent articles section.

There are many character traits that will make somebody a good houseparent: compassion, faith, motivation, etc. But, I think the most important is perseverance. There are many days you will just want to quit, even at the best facilities, and you need perseverance to keep going until you can see the good you do again, and there is a lot of good that a houseparent does.

I am sure there are others here that will be happy to share with you also.

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Launchpad

I wish I would have known there were different models of facilities and procedures and had known the difference.

I wish I would have known about this site before my first HP job. 

I wish I would have known that there are other HP’s who only do this for a paycheck, nothing else.

As far as what you should ask these homes? Make sure you and your family can live with what they are providing in the package. Sleeping in the hayloft is fun during the spring but come winter…..

Being able to set up interviews at several facilities will also help you to see differences in style and procedures. Talk with other HP’s while you are at the facility. If the admin will not make arrangements for you to do so be careful, BIG RED FLAG.

After thinking about it for a while, I have to go with the webmaster on perseverance. Some days are gravy, others you pray for an early death. It is a very emotional environment. You will get attached to the kids. But it’s the greatest ministry on earth! 

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rachel

Definitely read through the old forum questions – extremely informative.

I think good, solid houseparenting boils down to simply this…

unconditional love, consistent consequences

These two things are your greatest tools in modifying behavior. But they are much easier said than done at times!!

How far would you go? Professional Development

Launchpad

Even if your facility does not require it, would you consider investing (out of your pocket) for courses that would directly relate to child care?

Example 1: CPR is pretty much a basic requirement. Not much out of pocket and many facilities pay for it.

Example 2: CDL bus driver. Even if your facility does not have a bus, would you consider going thru the time and expense of acquiring a CDL for professional development and as a resume builder?

Other examples would be Web design/ IT classes, Juvenile Justice degree, etc…

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webmaster

The vast majority of my childcare training, I have acquired on my own at my own expense, mostly through books and online classes. Of the three facilities I have worked at only one had any type of formal preservice training and in-service training has been spotty at all of them. The best training I have ever received was the 40 hours of foster parent classes over 10 weeks I took in Montana before I ever even knew what a houseparent was. I still rely on that training today 12 years later.

The only training I have received consistently from any facility is CPR training. I had one facility that paid for me to complete lifeguard training and my current facility will also, however I have become too FAT and out of shape to consider that at the moment. It would seem that all these computer skills I learned are not real great for my health.

My wife wants me to finish my degree and become an administrator, but my desire is to become a full time webmaster someday.

I used to have a CDL Bus license, but finally let it expire the last time I renewed my license. I never actually drove a vehicle that required it once I became a houseparent, and hate driving vehicles that require one in the first place. This way I will never be tempted to work some place that wants me to be a bus driver.

I would really love to be able to attend seminars and conferences, but that is very difficult with the schedule we work. We only get 60 regular days off a year and it seems I spend most of those, recuperating, spending time with my wife and birth children, or working on my house and website.

There is a place online at SocialLearning.com that has several good online courses. They are directed at foster parents, but the vast majority of their topics would easily cross over to houseparents.

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tigersfan

I am currently going through classes online, at my own expense as well. I have always worked somewhere that would at least reimburse me for classes, but I don’t think it is going to happen here. I am going to try for a double major, something I can use here and something that will help if we ever move. Maybe Psychology or Social Work and either Business or something like that. 

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Launchpad

I’ve been wanting to do the online courses. Who do you go thru? I’ve checked into University of Maryland, I’m just hoping to find something a little cheaper.

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gracecountry62

Ashworth College is one that i went through

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tigersfan

Right now I am going through our community college here in MS. I was actually surprised that it is pretty expensive compared to other Community Colleges I went to. 

I am looking into some other online colleges for the winter session that starts around September. It is one of those things that I am doing some research on to find the right one. Also I really can’t make up my mind what I want to do when I grow up.

Lying Compulsive Lying

Launchpad

Does anyone have any tips or recommendations for dealing with compulsive lying? I have a boy that is struggling with communicating honestly on any level. We just can’t seem to get him to progress past this level. He is an older teen and this behavior is in-grained very deeply.

Anyone with any strategies or advice please comment, I am way open and searching on this one. 

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webmaster

We have a young lady that is a somewhat compulsive liar. We just call her on it and give her consequences every time she lies. Other than that I don’t know what else to do. We have had discussion after discussion about how lying makes a situation worse, and we have had several examples with other children in our cottage. She has been able to see how telling the truth by other children has resulted in them not receiving additional consequences, and even receiving grace and how other children that have lied receive additional consequences, but she doesn’t seem to be able to associate any of it to her situation. 

I did receive this in an E-mail today. http://www.fosterparentcollege.com/ It is a link to the foster parent college. They are offering, along with many other courses, a course specifically for dealing with lying. I haven’t previewed the course and am unable to offer a review, but the cost is relatively inexpensive, and might be very productive. 

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TexPop

We work with a teen girl with the same issue. It seems to be an almost automatic response – lying. I agree with consistently giving consequences for each incidence – large or small. However the biggest impact has followed her recent profession of faith, when instructed that Jesus has nothing to do with lies. He is the way, the TRUTH…..this has been repeated for her to ponder as it is very important to her. I don’t know if it helps your situation, but I at least wanted to confirm the previous post on consistency of consequence.

Campus Security

TexPop
I’ve become very concerned about our campus’ security plan and have broached the subject with our executive director. He doesn’t seem too concerned about it and seems to believe he can call all of the necessary people in an emergency and all will be well.

I keep thinking of all the emotionally unstable people we come into contact with each day/week/year and wonder how long it will be until one of them decides to bring a firearm on campus and start going crazy. I am also wary of ex-spouses, etc. that may be looking for kids and female partners within our campus shelter. There is no good way of performing a “lock-down” on our 100+ acre campus.

I’m looking for ideas. What kinds of security steps have you seen in places you’ve worked? Were they effective? Expensive?


Launchpad
I have had those same concerns in the past. Our last facility I kept a 45 in my quarters loaded with one in the chamber. I had a internal lock on it so only I could use it. I know this statement will freak some people out here, but I truly believe VA Tech would not have had the body count it did if some of the Teachers and staff would have been packing.

Here they do not allow firearms on campus. I keep a tire “Thumper” in our quarters and I also always carry a knife that I can operate quickly. I keep the 45 in my off duty quarters fully loaded and ready to go.

I know it sounds rough, but being a good shepherd means being prepared to put a cap in a wolf that is trying to harm a lamb. I have never had a situation as a civilian where I was put in a situation to even pull out a weapon on someone else, but I am more than happy to do so if anyone came looking to mess with the kids or my family.

I do think 99% of the time you can take common sense precautions to keep the boogey man at bay.

  1. Always carry a cell. Even if you have no service in some areas if you dial 911 you can be routed thru another cell tower. Always grant permission for others to see your GPS location on your cell. So if something does happen or the call is dropped the good guys can find you.
  2. Pepper spray works awesome. MUCH more effective than CS or mace.
  3. Light up the perimeter of your house.
  4. Lock down the house before going to sleep.
  5. At the first sign of “Feeling” like something may not be right put yourself on guard. If the doorbell is ringing at 3 am, I don’t answer it unless I got my shoes on, skivvies pulled up and my tire thumper in hand. Whoever is there had better be real certain they need to be there at that moment. 
  6. Emergency numbers always at hand- programmed into the cell.
  7. I keep a big Mag light close by the door in my quarters. If power goes out or if I need to run out in the middle of the night, it’s an easy grab.
  8. Question anyone you even suspect has no business being on campus. Kids, adults- it’s all the same. If they aint local they need to be escorted by staff or under supervision of someone while on campus.
  9. Keep all underbrush and bushes trimmed around the house so you can see through them if need be.
  10. Keep all vehicles locked with windows up.
  11. Put together an emergency house plan and practice it. If the kids hear a code word they know to run to their rooms and lock the doors or keep them closed.
  12. Get a house alarm system. (I guess if your facility is to poor to afford it you could try the cans on a string across the door way trick).
  13. 11. Lift weights and watch at least one season of the Sopranos.

TexPop
Any kind of campus-wide alert system you know of?


Launchpad
Here we have speakers mounted in all of the cottages connected to an internal phone system. The primary purpose is for tornado and weather warnings but anything else happening can be easily transmitted over the system. The director can give warnings all over campus at the same time. Similar to a school PA system.

If you build it, They will come

CaringCouple

We found our first position though a site advertised in a Social Worker publication. We later came across this site and found that they advertise her as well.
Our 2nd position was found because of an ad they had posted here. We had also subscribed to Mike’s list at the time and accomplished 7 interviews before making a decision. All but one with companies on Mike’s list or ads here.

Our current position is one for which we were actively recruited. By going to trainings outside the agency we met others doing what we do and began to “network”. Someone found out about us from one of their employees and we were contacted and ended up finding a program a bit better than the one we left.

As with ANY job, with House Parenting, the time and money you invest in additional training, seminars, etc makes you a more marketable commodity. You teach it to the kids so practice some of it and invest in your future as well.

Don’t sit around whining or waiting for someone else to do it for you.

A LOT of agencies will hire any warm set of bodies that can pass a background check. Some tend to prefer those who know NOTHING that they can control and manipulate easier.

But with any of the more structured and financially successful agencies (usually exhibited by growth) they are a bit more selective and your educational background will find you the better paid positions.

There are many inexpensive seminars. I paid $25 for a 4 hour course Tuesday in Behavior Management and $20 for a 4 hour course today in “Safely Driving a Passenger Van” (Insurance companies want to see this kind of stuff).

Many churches and Civic Organizations offer free training and parenting classes as well. They can all be used to build your resume.

An excellent source of training is Foster Parenting Classes. I’ve found 3 agencies that will let us sit in on classes because we are “thinking” of becoming Foster Parents”. When your kids leave you that is where they sometimes go so it’s nice knowing how they are prepared.

Yes it takes time.

Yes it takes a small investment sometimes on your part

But it also pays off financially if that is important to you.
If you are young or have 0 experience it can mean the difference between a minimum wage or voluntary “missionary” position vs a $12.50 an hour Child Care Worker position or even a $60K plus overhead and full benefits kind of job.

It also pays off in areas where you can do the most good sometimes. We work with VERY difficult kids. Kids that would have been institutionalized a few years ago and are so in other states. The training has certainly helped us feel more comfortable in assisting them with their needs and helping them solve their problems.


Katryn

Great Advice, thank you.

I think people get into houseparenting and end up in what we call “an Island named student home”

We find it difficult to even get together with fellow houseparents here, let alone others from different facilities.

But, this is a definite must, not just to keep your training up, and yourself more marketable…but to keep yourself sane.

newbees, insight

new2youth

July 11, 2005 my wife & I report to a facility for 2 weeks of training. After training, we report to another location 45 miles away. It seems there is a high turnover rate there. We will be living in a 4500sf home with 6 to 8 children. The facility is rather remote, 45 min. to 1 hr. from civilization.
We met only a trainer/interviewer, director & administrator. No parents or children. We toured one home while no one was there.
Without sugar coating, would someone give us some insight as to what to really expect. We are self employed & will be giving up our business to do what we believe is our calling. We are going into this with a long term commitment & just need a little reassurance from someone not affiliated with the facility.
We will be 17 on, 4 off. Benefits after 90 days and a salary of $3000/mo. after probation. Just need that extra nudge if you know what I mean
Thanks for any input!


gracecountry62

Welcome aboard.

Child care will either break you or make you but please don’t let this bring fear but just a willingness to be teachible in entering a new world as this. Very rewarding indeed surrendering all to become House Parents to those children less fortunate than us or our children. When My wife and I began over 10 yrs back as Child care workers in Ministry we was analyzing everything and had soooo many questions starting out .
Most are indeed called in this type of lifestyle and will meet many challenges along the way but also they will accomplish a great deal too. You will have some very stressful days I can assure of you that and you will ask yourself what have I gotten myself into but then after a long relaxing time away in a cool tub of refreshing water or a time away in your little private get away area to listen to either music or just read a book you will find a time of refreshing moments that will enable you to get the Armour back on and hit the front lines Hey but there are also many great times of joyous events also and you will have a blast working with the children within a few months or more you will notice a bond between you and your kids that are in your care. You will learn what makes them tick and what sets them off you will become their punching bag mentally that is because these kids are most of the time being removed from their homes and parents and that is a great trauma in their lives so you will experience much anger and resentment from them but do not take it personally because they are actually either angry at their parents or case workers for the move or just plain angry at life at the moment.

You will be fine you will do a great job .there is a great shortage in house parents
and so you are a blessing from God to enter the world of House parenting you will need to get familiar with other house parents that has been doing it for a while they will be of much encouragement and support and hopefully you will have the support of the staff there in the Administration offices, you will learn this during your initial training and as time goes on.
We will be praying for the both of you as you start on your journey with the rest of us. Once again it is a pleasure to see yall become House Parents may God always give you wisdom in the tough times and compassion toward those in your care.


CaringCouple

IMO High Turnover usually = Poor Training or a Lack of Support.

Make sure your 2 weeks of training count and are not just 2 weeks of paperwork procedures. You need a firm grasp of a Crisis Intervention system as well as a solid understanding of whatever behavior modification system is in place in order to feel a sense of confidence from day to day in yourself.

Being 45 miles away from “civilization” could also mean being an hour or more away from therapists and support staff to assist in interventions.

Make the most of your training and ask EVERYTHING that comes to mind.

Most organizations tend to have you shadow another set of house parents for at least a couple of days before injecting you into a home.

The “remoteness” of the placement could be a big factor in the turnover rate.

Expect as well as insist on support and let the Agency know up front of your misgivings and don’t get “trapped”

The hardest and probably most important lesson to learn is to “Care for the Caregiver”.

Meaning your own physical and mental health are tantamount to your potential for success.

Stop in here a lot with questions.

We’ll try to help