Learn more about the Cal Farley’s organization and our Boys Ranch residential and alumni programs through these frequently asked questions.


We’re one of America’s largest child and family service providers! We are a Christ-centered 501(c)(3) organization headquartered in Amarillo, Texas.

In our 80-plus-year history, we’ve touched the lives of thousands of people through our unique programs and services.

An active volunteer board of directors oversees our operations.

Boys Ranch provides professional programs and services at no charge to children and families across the United States, because financial resources should never stand between a family in crisis and much-needed help.

Families are asked to provide for their own transportation and medical costs.

Absolutely not!

Boys Ranch does not seek state or federal funding for our work with children and families.

The Boys Ranch Independent School District, headquartered on our campus, qualifies for the same funds as any public school district in Texas. These funds provide a portion of the teachers’ salaries and various school operations. This, however, is only a small part of the campus’ total operating budget

Each year, gifts from our committed supporters provide about half of Boys Ranch total operating budget. We rely on our generous friends to help us provide housing, emotional assistance, educational opportunities and spiritual guidance. All contributions are tax deductible.

Our programs and services are also supported by the Cal Farley’s Boys Ranch Foundation, begun by our founder and stewarded by an active volunteer board.

No. While religious life is an important part of Boys Ranch work, we are not affiliated with and receive no support from any church or religious sect.

Many local churches, fraternal groups and civic organizations do, however, pray for and contribute to the Boys Ranch organization.

Yes. Boys Ranch partnered with the New York-based Council on Accreditation nearly 20 years ago.

Learn more about our COA accreditation here.


Like any young adult in a traditional family, Boys Ranch alumni can more effectively thrive if we remain available to provide safety net services and other limited support as needed to help them begin their new, independent lives. 

Alumni Services provides housing assistance, case management services and scholarships for alumni.

Educational Scholarships

Graduates who choose to further their education may apply for assistance through our robust alumni-support organization.

Scholarships are awarded based on financial need.

Requirements for scholarship eligibility: 
  • must have been in residence at a Cal Farley’s residential program for at least 20 months; or
  • have graduated from Boys Ranch High School or Girlstown USA; or
  • have successfully completed their plan of service goals.

Alumni applicants are interviewed by a scholarship committee to determine eligibility. 

Once approved to receive a scholarship the alumni must:
  • maintain a minimum 2.0 grade-point average;
  • take a consistent course load; and 
  • must remain in monthly contact with their alumni services case manager.

No. Because each alumni’s career goals are unique, Boys Ranch alumni scholarships may be used for trade school, junior college, university or graduate school.

Boys Ranch Alumni Support Independent Living Center

The center provides a low-cost place to live for Boys Ranch alumni who need temporary housing assistance during their transition to adult life. It features 11 apartments, a common area for meetings or training and laundry facilities. Life coaches maintain accountability and offer help with basic living skills.

Boys Ranch Alumni Support staff also may at times help alumni to locate suitable, affordable housing in their local community


Boys Ranch residential campus, located 36 miles northwest of Amarillo, Texas, provides residential programs and therapeutic services for at-risk boys and girls ages 5 to 18.

The children live in group homes and enjoy a variety of academic, vocational, spiritual and other activities to help them become responsible, resilient young people. 

We believe a child’s challenging behavior stems from one or more of six universal needs, safety, belonging, achievement, power, purpose and adventure, not being met.

As such, we view these behaviors as an opportunity for instruction rather than willfulness to punish. We understand there is a need to provide both structure to limit the present behavior and nurturing to facilitate lasting change.

Any disciplinary interaction must align with the values contained in Cal Farley’s Model of Leadership & Service and all applicable internal and regulatory standards.

While relatives, concerned persons or agencies can recommend a child, only his or her parents, managing conservator and/or guardian can make the actual placement.

Referrals are considered on an individual basis by the intake staff and the campus assessment team.

Boys Ranch receives thousands of requests for information or placement each year. When a child is not a suitable candidate for placement, our caring staff works with the family to locate an appropriate, reputable service provider.

Children are accepted on a case-by-case basis

The family and child provide the most accurate information in order for the child-care team to determine whether or not our services are a good fit for their need.

And, though most have experienced challenges relationally, socially, academically and emotionally, families also may be struggling financially or experiencing times of transition.

Most families report needing additional supervision and support for their child and themselves.

Requirements for placement
  • Candidates must be able to be successful in a group living environment.
  • Boys and girls must be between the ages of 5 and about 16.5 when they begin the application process. A child must not have reached his or her 17th birthday at the time of admission.

Children may be denied placement for a variety of reasons, such as more aggressive physical behaviors or issues needing more intensive services.

Boys and girls must be between the ages of 5 and about 16.5 when they begin the application process. A child must not have reached his or her 17th birthday at the time of admission.

Children live in group homes, shared with 10 to 12 children and one set of house parents in each home. Generally, two or three children share a large bedroom. The group homes are segregated by gender

Yes. Extended vacations are scheduled at Christmastime and each summer. Home visits are scheduled based on each child’s circumstances and home environment.

Boys Ranch Independent School District

Boys Ranch ISD is headquartered on the Boys Ranch campus.  The district includes Mimi Farley Elementary School, Blakemore Middle school and Boys Ranch High School. 

Educational Opportunities

Children from kindergarten through 12th grade enjoy small class sizes, an exceptional teacher-to-student ratio, a wide range of academic and vocational programs, credit recovery and many extra-curricular activities.

About 300 boys and girls live at Boys Ranch each year.

Boys Ranch accepts boys and girls from across the United States for placement in our program.

The number of states represented at any given time varies; however since opening in 1939, Boys Ranch welcomed children from 49 of the 50 states.

Boys Ranch specializes in short- and long-term care, however, the length of stay is determined on an individual basis.

The average length of stay is about 2-and-a-half years, though some stay with us much longer. In some cases, children live at Boys Ranch more than a decade.

Religious training at Boys Ranch is interdenominational Christian.

All children attend chapel services Sunday morning, and a wide range of religious activities are available throughout the week on a voluntary basis.

Boys Ranch maintains its own well-equipped clinic where contracted medical, dental and vision providers are able to take care of most medical needs. The clinic is open during business hours Monday through Friday. Paramedics are also available at Boys Ranch 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

If special services or hospitalization are required, doctors, specialists and two large hospitals are within easy driving distance in Amarillo.

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