As a houseparent, you will love, serve, and provide a home for kids who come from hard places. You will be responsible for daily living activities like chores, helping with homework, providing meals, independent living development, spiritual development, and setting up appropriate boundaries for each child through healthy mentoring. Just as important, you will model Christ’s love, Godly character, and healthy family relationships to the kids in your home. You make the decision to open your heart and home in order to welcome many new kids into your family.
As a respite houseparent you will provide temporary care for a group of children, in your ministry-provided home, while their primary houseparents are on leave. You will support primary houseparents by following their instructions and meeting the children’s needs, documenting significant occurrences, participating in family and community events, preparing some meals, leading daily devotions, assisting with homework, and maintaining an atmosphere of love, acceptance, and order in the home.
The kids come from all over and from many different backgrounds. They are all placed at Cookson Hills by their parents or legal guardians. Most parents are at a point where they have exhausted their options and need outside help to raise their child. Some children come for a couple years and then return to their biological families. Others stay through graduation because their biological families are unable to care for them.
You will have up to 10 total kids in your home (including your own). The kids will be a mix of boys and girls ranging from 5-17 years old. You will live at Cookson Hills in one of our homes designed for large families.
We have an accredited Kindergarten-12th grade private Christian school on-site. All students attend school during the day.
We provide an intensive month-long training up front to help you understand our mission and equip you with tools to become an effective houseparent. This training includes tools such as Love and Logic, and Managing Aggressive Behaviors (MAB). Monthly training and weekly meetings with your social worker assist you with any questions/struggles along the way.
Small encaged animals may be permitted with approval. Aside from that, we do not allow indoor pets in the residential child care homes.
Breakfast is provided by houseparents in the home. Weekday lunches are eaten together as a family in our dining hall. Weekday dinners are flexible; sometimes they are offered in the dining hall and other times meals are provided to be taken home. On the weekends, houseparents provide meals in the home.
Each month, houseparents receive five consecutive days off. During this time, all of your placed kids transfer to another home on site that is specifically designed for “respite care.” In addition, you also receive an allotted amount of PTO days per year.
No, you do not need to raise your own financial support. Cookson Hills provides a modest salary in addition to providing your food, housing, and utilities.
Our houseparents come from a variety of backgrounds. Some had established careers working in a completely different field. However, we are more interested in the heart of our incoming houseparents than the specific field that they have received training. We look for houseparents who come with one mission in mind: to serve Christ by ministering to the needs of kids.
While the kids are at school, we ask that houseparents help out around campus. This could be anything from working at the front office, substitute teaching, or mowing lawns. As a houseparent, you will also keep busy with caring for the needs of your kids: doctor appointments, eye exams, dentist appointments, etc.
The kids live with you full-time (except for your five days off). Each weekend we encourage houseparents to plan fun activities and spend time with their kids. This could mean going on a hike, playing disc golf, swimming at the river, or playing board games. We place a high value on quality family time spent together.
Holidays are spent in the home with your new large family. Some of the kids might have visits where they go back to their biological families, but many will stay with you during the holidays. You have a chance to demonstrate healthy family dynamics and pass on your own family traditions.