In the line of work that my wife and I do (we are house parents at a group home facility), we see many children that are falling through the cracks in life. In eight years as house parents, we have housed over seventy kids for reasons that vary from neglect to truancy to abuse. Not every parent that has brought their kids to us have been neglectful. Many of them are wonderful parents who have just lost control of their homes and are looking for help.
I wanted to share this with you this morning because you might be in the position where you need help with a child. Or, maybe you know someone who is at wit’s end and simply does not know where to turn. I think one of the biggest traps that parents fall into in regards to their children is the feeling that they have to do it all themselves.
People, this is not the case. Now, there are some pretty crappy parents in the world. We all know this. It has been well documented in more than one place. Some people would be doing their child a favor by handing them over for adoption the moment that they’re born.
However, what about the parents who do everything right and still struggle to connect with their children. What about the parents who love their children more than anything and lose them to their peer culture? Are you in that boat today?
My advice to you… GET HELP!
Don’t wait any longer. Don’t let that lingering thought that people might judge you keep you from getting your child the help that he or she needs. Hey, it could be as simple as outpatient therapy. Maybe your child would benefit from seeing a therapist once a week. You know, it could be a little more extensive than that. I have had kids live in my home for as long as two years before reunifying with their family but the move is necessary and, ultimately, worth it.
If you are reading this today and thinking to yourself, “I think he’s speaking directly to me”, continue reading through the following information.
There are two group home facilities that I am VERY familiar with (I currently work at one and I spent nearly 7 years at the other).
Patrick Henry Family Services provides residential care as well as outpatient therapy and church-based foster care and is located in the Lynchburg, VA area. It is a faith-based, non-profit organization that focuses on providing a continuum of services to children and families at risk that will keep families together and children safe. Our vision is to meet the needs of every child before us, resulting in the maximum impact for that child, in the shortest time possible, in the most efficient way possible, always in a loving and professional manner. If you live out on the east coast (or anywhere for that matter) and need these services, click on the link provided and it will take you straight to our website.
Baptist Children’s Home and Family Services is a similar ministry that operates out of Carmi, IL. It is a multi-faceted family crisis center consisting of five ministries that work together to protect, heal and restore struggling children and families. Whether it is helping teens in trouble, young women with unplanned pregnancies, or Christian counseling services – BCHFS has been helping those who need it most reach their full potential. For those of you who are friends of mine from the Missouri / Illinois / Indiana are, this would be an excellent resource for you.
However, what about all of you who live outside of Illinois and Virginia? Hey, there are literally hundreds of faith-based, group home facilities in America. A simple search on Google using keywords such as “group home care” and “residential care” will reveal even more options, though the two that I listed above are the only ones that I can personally vouch for.
I say all of this to come to this point. We all have an idea of how life will work out. None of us drive away from the hospital after our first child is born thinking, “What can I do to mess this up?” or “It’s only a matter of time before this one gets away from me”. Yet, we often find ourselves looking back thinking “What went wrong? What could I have done to change this outcome?”
Life is Strange. It takes weird turns and we end up in places that are unfamiliar. Make sure you get the help that you need.