The House Parent Role at Cal Farley’s
House parents at Cal Farley’s significantly impact the lives of children, making their role the backbone of our programs at Boys Ranch. Because our house parents work so closely with children, they are important role models teaching clients life lessons and core values. Successful house parents come from many walks of life, represent different age groups, and display different personalities.
House parenting is arguably the toughest job within the organization, providing daily supervision for up to 12 children in the home. This takes a high level of energy and the capacity to meet the demands of a large family household. From helping with homework to overseeing chores and providing meals, our house parents create a family-like atmosphere within the home group.
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The Cal Farley’s Model of Leadership & Service comprises the universal needs of safety, belonging, achievement, power, purpose and adventure. We believe when these six areas of need are met, individuals are able to reach their fullest potential. Our model takes into account neurodevelopment, relational health, past experiences and learning and moves us from the certainty that behavior is simple willful defiance to being curious as to what need is behind the behavior.
We believe challenging behavior stems from one or more of these needs not being met — or are being met inappropriately. Sometimes, this leads to establishing a pattern of self-defeating behaviors. In response, we will view these situations as opportunities for instruction and will apply an established continuum of interventions. These interventions will range from attempting to better meet these needs to exerting control.
We understand there is a need to provide both structure to limit the present behavior and nurturing to facilitate lasting change. Relationships that are restorative and unconditional are key. Within this context, we strive to identify each individual’s unique gifts and strengths.
When used intentionally, our personalized interventions will provide opportunities for children to meet their needs, improve relationships, cultivate their strengths, develop self-control, maintain dignity and learn new skills.
In our Christ-centered atmosphere, love, acceptance, encouragement, hope and compassion can flow. We recognize others as children of God with intrinsic worth, value, and purpose. Our House parents need to understand this — so maybe one day the children they serve will, too.
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What’s a typical day like?
House parents help clients prepare for their day by ensuring they receive a nutritious breakfast, making sure they are ready for school and seeing them off for the day.
During school hours, house parents often go to home meetings, attend training sessions and may have free time in the afternoon to enjoy many of the amenities on campus, including our state-of-the-art fitness center, indoor swimming pools and activity center.
When the school day is over, house parents will coordinate getting the clients to their selected activities, prepare the home meal, answer questions about homework assignments and supervise household chores.
Weekend schedules are less structured, allowing house parents to lead residents in recreational activities. House parents also may take students to a local event, enjoy an afternoon of crafts or spend a quiet night in the home. Sunday chapel service is a requirement for all residents and on-duty house parents.