Four Ways to Care

March 22, 2017

“How can we help?”

Business owners, volunteers, churches, and donors all ask us regularly what Palmer Home for Children needs most. We’ve held fundraisers. And you have answered by giving. We’ve mentioned on-campus repair needs. You’ve answered by sending missions teams. We’ve created lists of everyday items our children need. You’ve answered by bringing bags upon bags of supplies.

As Palmer Home moves into the completion of three new cottages on our Hernando campus and fully launches the Jonah’s Journey ministry throughout Mississippi and Tennessee, we need caregivers. We need husbands and wives who want to invest deeply into the lives of children in need of parents to show them the love of a family. We need men and women who are willing to schedule the doctor’s appointments, cook the meals, oversee the homework, snuggle at bedtime, and pray for the children under their roof. We need moms and dads.

Between two Palmer Home campuses in Mississippi and Jonah’s Journey opportunities throughout two states, caregiver opportunities abound. Learn a little more about each of our opportunities and click through to our website to request information or submit your application to become a part of Making Lives Whole.

Columbus and Hernando Houseparents

Children on Palmer Home’s Columbus and Hernando campuses live in cottages of 7-10 children with their houseparents. On-campus houseparents are full-time employees of Palmer Home for Children. These individuals utilize a professional, team-oriented, trauma-informed approach to provide a safe, healing, homelike environment for the children in their cottage. Houseparents receive a salary along with benefits and one week of time off (respite) for every three weeks of direct caregiving. In many ways, our houseparents serve as the foundation of Palmer Home’s ministry of restoration.  Learn more about full-time caregiver opportunities.

Jonah’s Journey Caregivers (Foster Parents)

Jonah’s Journey is a privately operated foster care network that places children in single-family homes. Jonah’s Journey caregivers offer the children in their home safety, family, love, and opportunity. Unlike in state foster care systems, caregivers through Jonah’s Journey do not receive monetary compensation for their service; however, the program does offer extensive training and the support of a caregiving community. Caregivers may receive both short and long term placements. As the list of children waiting for a home placement grows, so does our need for caregivers. Find out how you can care for vulnerable children in your own home.

On-Campus Respite Caregivers

Caregivers from both Columbus and Hernando campuses receive one week of time off after every three weeks of direct caregiving. Respite caregivers rotate between cottages where houseparents are on respite and have an opportunity to get to know (and love) children across the campus. In addition to caring for a cottage of children during respite weeks, caregivers are needed to fill in during illnesses, vacations, doctor’s appointments and even an occasional date night. How often, when, and where caregivers serve is determined by the caregiver and the Palmer Home staff based on need. Full-time respite caregivers receive salary and benefits and work a similar schedule to houseparents. Volunteer respite caregiver opportunities are also available for those who would like to fill in occasionally for events such as date nights or doctor appointments.

Jonah’s Journey Respite Caregivers

Like any parent, Jonah’s Journey caregivers need back-up caregivers to help out. Foster parenting can be quite draining for families, but often parents feel they have nowhere to turn for help. Because of the backgrounds of children placed through the Jonah’s Journey program, our caregivers cannot leave their children with just any friend or family member. Respite caregivers must complete training and background checks. While the process isn’t difficult, at this time we have few respite caregivers available for our Jonah’s Journey parents. For families interested in learning more about our foster care program or individuals who have a heart for this ministry, respite caregiving offers a great opportunity to serve and learn. Learn more on our Jonah’s Journey website.

Our mission to rescue and restore lives depends on being able to provide safe, loving, stable homes for the children who come to us. If you’re considering becoming a caregiver, we would love to talk with you, and if you know someone who might be interested, share these opportunities with them. We just can’t say it enough: They need our help. We need yours.