AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — Cal Farley’s Boys Ranch has helped at-risk children for over 80 years and is currently in need of house parents.
“The purpose of Cal Farley’s Boys Ranch is to provide a home to children who need it for whatever reason, their families are going through difficult times right now,” said Suzanne Wright, Vice President of Training and Intervention. “So, we are a place where they can come and live and be safe and we can help them grow into productive citizens.”
House parents live on campus, in residential homes with children, helping them in their everyday life, and with life skills.
“House parents are the most vital role here on our campus,” said Wright. “They provide parenting for the children who live here and so they do lots with our kids, they interact with our residents, as regular parents would, but in a professional manner.”
House parents receive training to equip them in their roles, as well as benefits that include health insurance, housing, a 401k and being a part of the campus community.
“They have the opportunity to be immersed in all of the activities that our children are involved in,” said Wright. “So there are activities related to school and athletics and our chapel program. All of the fun activities that we have during this summer, house parents get to be part of all of that, as they build relationships with our residents.”
According to the website the salary for single-house parents is $37,700 and $75,400 for couples.
House parent responsibilities are the same responsibilities that parents outside of Boys Ranch have.
“Our house parents take care of our kids, just like normal parents, they wake them up in the morning, get them to school, get them home from school, and they just take care of to help them meet their needs,” said Adrian Jackson, Vice President of Homelife. “They have teach basic social skills, budgeting chores, they just parent, this is a professional parent.”
Jackson and his wife became house parents after graduating from college, he shared that the experience has not only helped him professionally but personally.
“It helped me be a better parent,” said Jackson. “It also helped me be a better husband, to my wife. So, the skills that you learned and all the training that you receive just makes you a better person.”
Children come to Boys Ranch for different reasons and from different backgrounds, making the training a crucial part of being a house parent.
“We have an array of staff, childcare, team members that helps you kind of immerse into the environment,” explained Jackson. “It’s like a small town.”
Wright shared that there is no time commitment that an individual or couple must remain a house parent. However, most house parents start to feel comfortable after a year.
“Being here a year gives you a good foundation and hopefully you’ll enjoy it so much that you’ll stay beyond that time,” explained Wright.
In addition to helping children develop life skills and become productive citizens, house parents help create and enhance relationships with a child’s parents at home.
“Not only the children building relationships, but our staff try to build relationships with the family, and we try to look at any needs that the child or family might have, and work on those things so that they can improve their relationship,” stated Wright.
The campus includes an elementary, middle and high school for students, making the commute for parents easy. Also, on the property is a grocery store, gas station, transportation, greenhouse, post office, clinic and facilities for extracurricular activities.
For those interested in being a house parent, applications are available online. Applicants will undergo a background check and interview as part of the application process.