Why do children come to Chestnut Mountain Ranch?
- Children come to Chestnut Mountain Ranch when circumstances make living at home difficult. We counsel with a child’s entire family to identify the generational patterns deeply rooted in the family’s struggles. Difficulties may include changes in family structure or custody, poor school performance, behavioral issues, judicial requirements or other factors that affect the child and his family. The goal is family reunification and restoration.
What would be our responsibilities as Houseparents?
- CMR Houseparent couples are responsible for: • Providing a stable environment in which all of the basic needs of the children are met • Creating a safe atmosphere where the children can work on their issues and practice new behaviors • Modeling healthy family relationships incorporating Christian principles • Interfacing with each child’s family and incorporating them into the CMR program • Offering support to each individual child • Participating in the intake process
What type of training and support would we receive?
- Each Houseparent couple goes through an orientation and receives training in the program from the Program Manager or House Supervisor. Each Houseparent couple will receive weekly training in the program and Houseparent manual. The Houseparents will have support in every aspect of the program.
Would we live in a home with the children?
- Yes, you would live full‐time in the home with the children. The homes are fully furnished except for your Houseparent apartment. Storage space is usually available for your furniture. Teaching children a strong work ethic is important. Housparents are responsible for instructing and assisting their children on the general cleaning and upkeep of the house, yard and Ranch sector. Larger maintenance issues (appliance/AC repair, etc.) are handled through the Operations Manager.
Do we provide meals for the children?
- Yes, Houseparents provide meals for the children in their care. There’s an adjustment period to learn to cook for up to 12 people which includes your own family and your Program Assistant who eats dinner with you. However, there are no set menus – you can cook the nutritious meals you prefer. You will be provided with support from other Houseparents as to how to cook for 12 people. Also, you will have to grocery shop every week for the house.
How much time off do Houseparents receive?
- Because of our family reunification program, our children go home 3 out of 4 weekends a month, all school holidays and other scheduled breaks. There is a total of about 7 weeks off per year. During this time, Housparents are off duty and are free to go on vacation or remain on the Ranch. Houseparents also receive a three-hour date night 3 out of 4 weeks in a month and a 4-hour date break on Saturday on Ranch weekends. Houseparents are free to leave the Ranch while the Program Assistant provides care of the children.
What is a typical daily schedule?
- On a school day, you’ll wake the children in time for them to dress, complete their chores and eat breakfast together before leaving for school. Except for certain scheduled activities Houseparents have some down time and can leave the Ranch until the children return from school. Each week your team will meet for 1 1/2 – 2 hours to discuss issues in the home and to receive training from the Program Manager or House Supervisor. On Friday mornings, there is a staff meeting. Housedads have one workday a week typically scheduled from 8:30am-12pm. Otherwise, this is your personal time to enjoy until the children return from school. After school, you’ll provide the children with a snack, review their school planners and assist them with homework. The rest of your day is filled with dinner, recreation time, a devotion time and preparing for bedtime.
How do I transport the children?
- The Ranch provides each home with a van for transporting children.
What kind of time commitment do you require?
- We ask our Houseparent Couples to commit to at least three full years in this position. This helps to build stronger teams and provides more consistency for the children.
Do we have to raise our own financial support?
- No, Houseparents are paid a monthly salary and are provided free room and board.
“God loves us with such incredible love, and gives us opportunities in life to love others. God calls us to love HIM first and then others, living out the great commandment (Matthew 22:36-39). Being a Houseparent is an opportunity to obey this commandment. Every day, we have the gift to be a part of another child’s story. Helping children navigate through tough situations, share moments of joy, and be a vital part of daily teaching moments is a great privilege. Every moment from helping a boy learn how to cook, to playing a card game, to praying through some hard heart issues is all important and meaningful. To work alongside the boys and their families is a gift and a privilege. Paul Tripp once said, “Nothing is more important in your life than being one of God’s tools to form a human soul.” Being a Houseparent has changed my life to see beyond myself and into the heart and needs of children and to love God and others well.” – Housemom, 12 years
“The Lord calls people to Houseparenting for different reasons, but he has used it to open my eyes to my need for personal holiness. I started this journey with the goal of making a difference in a child’s life, but I didn’t realize that throughout this journey, much of the growth I would see would be in my own life. This experience has reminded me that I cannot help the boys and their families find true and lasting hope and healing unless I am first filled by Christ, the source of that hope and healing.” – Housemom, 2 years
“Houseparenting has been like a mirror that constantly points me to my need for Jesus. As I talk to the boys, I am constantly dependent on Him to lead and direct my conversation. I spend more time in prayer, seeking His guidance in those difficult moments. I see more and more that I am not unlike these boys in my need for His intervention in my life. He has used these moments to root out indwelling sin and struggles with anger that I did not realize were there. While I am grateful to be a vessel used in His service in the lives of these boys, I am more grateful for the way that Christ has worked in my life. Any fruit seen in the lives of those in my home has been icing on the cake. Houseparenting should be a prerequisite for any type of Christian service.” – Housedad, 2 years
“Parenting is a calling. However, parenting is also so much more than that. It is joy, laughter, and a whole lot of hard work. Family is a gift. However, family is also so much more. It is growing, learning, and supporting each other. Houseparenting provides the great blessing of both. Houseparenting gives the opportunity to live and serve as a family while coming alongside or to support other families in their journey. What I have always enjoyed about Houseparenting is that it daily provides times of joy, laughter, growing, and learning alongside young men maturing into manhood. Living shoulder to shoulder as boys grow and mature into young men is such a great blessing. Houseparenting is all about God growing and using you, and then being able to pass on those lessons to the boys in your care.” – Housedad, 12 years