Are you a strong, patient and loving couple? Do you love children and feel as though you have a gift with kids? If so, sometimes you should consider taking on the role of house parents. As with many couples jobs, this is a live on-site position. Some of the jobs boast great health insurance, a vehicle and separate private housing. These are wonderful benefits, but keep in mind this job does have its challenges.
Many organizations looking for houseparents are ones that help to take care of troubled kids. Usually these are all-boys or all-girls homes and ages of the children can range from young children to young adults. The house parent job requires patience, a very strong couple and the fortitude to deal with young people that have challenges.
Some children (but not all) come from broken homes and need some serious stability in their lives. House parents are able to become strength and security for the children when their world just is not coming together.
The schedule of these positions varies. You will most likely not be working a traditional 9 to 5 work week, but rather a non-traditional work "week" that may run for two weeks straight with a three day week-end. In this case there would be a "stand in" couple that would take over for you during your days off. Another potential possibility is that you apply for the position of a "stand in" or "substitute" couple that floats from one home to another. This is a nice option that brings a change of scenery but of course involves some moving around.
The following is a list that you may find yourself responsible for, should you take on a houseparent couple position:
· Program Development
· Nurturing & Supervision
· Professional Development
· Home Management
· Staff Management
The above are not meant to be a comprehensive list, but a general guideline, and these are really just the "nuts and bolts" of the houseparents job. The most important aspect of this job is developing trust with the children. There will be days in this job when you may question your decision to accept this position. However, it is also possible that the children will become so much a part of you that you will wonder how you would fare without being part of their lives.