You Are Not in Control

I am probably going to offend somebody with this post but it is something that really needs to be said.  Whether you are a houseparent in a huge organization or a one home community group home you are not the boss of your cottage, home, cabin or whatever you call it.  I have been doing the houseparenting thing for more than 15 years now and I have heard more than a few times the following statement, “If administration (or whoever) would leave us alone and let us run things the way we want, out kids would be better off.”

I can honestly tell you that in everyone one of those cases the houseparents that said it were either strongly encouraged to resign at some point or were fired.  In many cases, they will resign before they are fired and bounce from facility to facility trying to find the control they will never have.

Houseparents need to understand that they are a member of a team, a link in a chain, or whatever metaphor you want to use, that have to work with many other people to provide the best possible care for the children they are responsible for.  For starters, there is always going to be an administrator or social worker that is going to have a huge say in how your home is run.  You are going to have relief staff that you have to learn to work with.  You are also probably going to have birth parents that you for sure are going to have to learn to work with, and who may even have a say in the way you care for their child.  There may also be judges, attorneys, probation officers, school administrators, etc that you may have to work with.

Here is the meat.  If you are one of those people that think you need to have ultimate authority, your best bet is to find another line of work.  You probably aren’t going to find a facility that will give you the authority you are looking for and if you do it will probably be such a crappy one that you won’t want to stay there for very long anyway.

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