It was 10 years ago today that I launched The Houseparent Network.
I am so thankful to be able to celebrate this, especially when you consider all the websites that have come and gone over the last ten years, and the fact that I had NO idea what I was doing when I started it. At the time I was a fairly new houseparent that new Nothing about websites but realized there was a need for houseparents to have a place to find resources or be able to network with other houseparents. We are such a unique group that I thought there should be a place for others that share the struggles, concerns and rewards of being a houseparent/residential childcare worker to be able share those experiences.
I started work on The Houseparent Network the previous September when I bought the domain name houseparent.net and some cheap website editing software at Walmart. At the time it seem fashionable to name your website “whatever dot com” and my plan was to just have “Houseparent.com” but somebody had already registered that domain. I was extremely disappointed and pondered things for a few days, then I realized what a blessing that was. My vision was a place where houseparents and other residential childcare staff could share resources and network, so I registered the domain houseparent.net and decided there was NO better name than “The Houseparent Network” which fit perfectly with .net domain.
The look sure has changed. Here is what it looked like back then:
Looking at that first page, I realize I didn’t fulfill every vision I had for the network and probably never will, but I am still thankful for all the good that I have been able to do through my site. I hope that in this next decade, the network will continue to grow into a bigger and better resource for houseparents as well as the facilities we work at.
I would like to thank everyone that has helped to make it a success over the last 10 years: The millions of visitors that have viewed the site, the facilities that have posted your job listings, all of you that have shared on the various forums we have had, Launchpad for all the work you did on the blog (I still love reading your entries), my wife and family for putting up with me during the early days when I spent every free moment I had working on the website, the authors of HTML and Websites for Dummies which helped me when I knew nothing, and everyone that sent me ideas, encouragements, and even complaints because you helped make the site better.