Working in residential child care has many challenges. Aggressive children, killer loads of paper work, nasty demeaning case workers, parents on crack (Literally), staff miscommunication and nails driven into your bike tires (Long story).
But nothing makes a mess of life in general than an elicit affair on campus. Stick around this industry long enough and you will run into the rumors, innuendos and eventual expose of a little dirty love on the down low. Unfortunately, most rumors about an affair on campus that go through the grapevine turn out to be true.
Most facilities that insist on hiring singles as House Parents, are fairly use to the drama associated with staff relationships. The facility I got my start in was such a place and was constantly dealing with relationship issues. They discouraged couples from working together and would place them in separate cottages to work with the opposite sex as a partner. When I asked why they did this they said “Married couples do not work well together”.
The problem becomes when you have a grown man and a grown woman, modeling family style living in a cottage to highly disturbed children that want both of you dead. Day in and day out you work side by side living in some kind of weird, pseudo, pretend marriage. Your doing everything a married couple does with the exception of sharing a bed, which starts becoming more and more imaginable as time goes on. It’s simply a mixture of stress, hormones, a little easy rock and a bad day. Pretty soon the kids are talking and the two of you are doing a lot of justifying.
Facilities that are promoting “Family Style” living without there being a family are deceiving themselves and the kids. No facility should ever try to run a residential child care program with live in staff that are not married. If hiring or finding couples is that much of an issue, a facility needs to seriously consider hiring individuals for shift work. And for the sweet love of God, do not call yourself a Christian facility and force your staff to work as a couple with other people of the opposite sex.
All of this may seem to be a no-brainer, but I know of quite a few people who have taken a fall because of some weak moments and a bad work set up.
Just a piece of advice to my homies caught in a dysfunctional group home setting- save the Pina Coladas and moon lit strolls for the wife. It’s not worth being homeless for…. -Launch