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Southeastern Children's Home serves young people in three group homes. – PHOTO PROVIDED BY SOUTHEASTERN

Wanted: Houseparents for Christian children’s homes

Southeastern Children’s Home in Duncan, S.C., serves young people in three group homes.

We went to press this week with the latest print edition of The Christian Chronicle. Depending on where you live, it should hit your mailbox in the next week or two.
Flipping through the pages of this issue, I could not help but notice a number of advertisements seeking houseparents for Christian children’s homes.
I counted six such quarter-page ads — from New Mexico Christian Children’s Home, Arms of Hope, Mid-Western Children’s Home, Tennessee Children’s Home, Christ’s Haven for Children and Albuquerque Christian Children’s Home.
Of course, the difficulty of finding Christian couples willing to serve as houseparents isn’t exactly breaking news. We’ve reported on this before. In a front-page story in the January 2012 edition, we highlighted concerns about declining funding for children’s homes:

In a survey of 20 children’s homes in more than a dozen states, The Christian Chronicle found widespread concern about declining church support amid trying economic times and shifting ministry priorities.
“It has been tough to watch as more and more homes have been squeezed out of church budgets,” said Cory Long, CEO of Carpenter’s Place, a girls’ home in Wichita, Kan., “and more and more homes are having to look outside the churches to get support.”

My personal experience shapes my perspective. My late grandparents Lloyd and Margaret Ross served as houseparents for Children’s Homes Inc. in Paragould, Ark. My parents, Bob and Judy Ross, devoted 25 years of service as houseparents to Christ’s Haven for Children in Keller, Texas. I reflected on Mom and Dad’s labor of love in a June 2007 column.
Reader feedback: Would you ever consider serving as a houseparent at at a Christian children’s home? Why or why not?

  • Feedback
    We have talked about it and are open to being houseparents.
    October, 25 2012

    I agree with this article. My husband and I have been houseparents for almost 7 years and I find it sad that our church is willing to give more money to fund missionaries out of the country than to a Children’s home in the same city. Luckily, my boss has been diligent about spending our budget wisely and using God’s money responsibly. I would definitely encourage couples who have strong marriages to consider being houseparents.
    October, 26 2012

    I pray you will soon find more good people dedicated to helping children. Johnny and have visited a number of homes and appreciate the wonderful work they are doing. It was a joy to have worked at Tipton Church of Christ and see the church work closely with the home and we always enjoyed returned visits in later years. May God bless each labor of love. Jo Anders
    jo anders
    October, 26 2012

    My wife and I have served at two locations for hurting children as house parents. We have enjoyed both ministries with teenage moms and babies as well as teen girls and teen boys. The hours are long (24/7) and the weeks continue to add up. But most homes now give ample time off to rest and renew. The joy of helping people find a better way to behave is just a blessing you can’t describe until a child years later writes and tells how you changed their life forever because of Jesus. So pray about it and inquire…it might just be your next ministry. Because of Him, we are yours, Don & Dona Musgrave
    Don & Dona Musgrave
    October, 26 2012

    My 16 yo daughter has being a houseparent as part of her career goals! And I can already tell that she will be great at it. She certainly has a gift with children. And she has said that this will definitely be a factor as she considers who she will marry! 🙂
    October, 29 2012

    Yes children are precious and need guidance,physical support & help as the Homes for children have done. Because things change. Some changes effect the over-all development of a cause as compared to the way things were done in the past, even in “The Church.” For an example & from experience ministering in Child Care as the Director of Development for three difference homes;
    While the building & grounds are important, too much development{$$$} have been placed in construction as compared to the support staff. On the other hand the “good ole boy” hiring style must be considered. Too many of them are hired when compared to the qualified individual making application for the position.
    The CEO hired by the “Board” is left pretty much to himself running the operation. Good or Bad…it depends! However,money is a key issue in today’s society and the Board ought to consider carefully how all the funds are used, especially paying support staff. Homes cannot operate without them!
    Respectfully, Dr. Brack
    William E. Brack, D. Min.
    October, 30 2012

    My wife and I are feel led to be house parents. We have a two year old son that always resides with us, and my wife has two kids from a previous marriage that spends summers and holidays with us and the school year with thier father. We have only recently become aware of this type of opportunity to serve the Lord and are very lost as to what direction to start in. Any advise, direction, and more than anything, prayer would be greatly appriciated.
    Thank you,
    March, 14 2013

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