Twenty Years of Caregiving Offers Many Success Stories for Hyde Family
Days are full for Mike and Marjorie Hyde, dedicated Palmer Home houseparents on the Columbus campus. Between caring for the children in their home and supporting them in their extracurricular actives and appointments, the Hydes see the vast advantages for caring for children in this special way. After eighteen years as houseparents, the Hydes have learned to divide the work and share the joy.
For the Hydes, caring for vulnerable children is their passion. “Most people don’t make it a lifelong mission,” says Mike. “For many people, it’s a season. For us, it’s a career. God won’t let us leave….so we’ll stay until we’re too old to do it!”
Their motivation to continue as houseparents is witnessing the impact they make on the children who live in their home, and the impact those children grow up to make in the world. After almost two decades of caregiving, they have a lot of success stories to share.
Their 36-year-old foster son served in the military, is a father, and runs a successful business. One of their former foster daughters from Palmer Home is very active in her church and has given the Hydes a grandchild who readily calls Mike and Marjorie “grandparents who chose his family.” They are proud of their children (and grandchildren!) and are thankful for the opportunity to invest in their lives.
The Hyde’s history of caregiving began in Cody, Wyoming, providing care in a behavioral modification home. After having children, they realized this model of caregiving was no longer a good fit for their family. Still called to caregiving, they moved to a group home in Fairfield, Texas. Not long after that, the Hydes found an advertisement for caregivers in Columbus, MS. Thinking MS stood for Missouri, they believed the move would put them closer to family in Montana. After the Hydes applied for the houseparent position at Palmer Home, they realized it would put them a day farther from family instead of closer! Still, God continued to open doors and made it clear they needed to be at Palmer Home.
“We’ve seen a huge amount of change in the last twenty years,” Marjorie says. “Palmer Home has changed from basically expanded foster care to therapeutic care.”
Therapeutic care means more training for houseparents and more support for both houseparents and children. Palmer Home’s dedication to support is evident in their hiring practices and now their overall staff includes nearly as many support personnel as houseparents. This has resulted in more success stories and healthy lifestyles for staff, houseparents, and children alike.
The Hydes agree the main reason to be a houseparent is a desire to help children. “You have to work as a team with the other houseparents, counselors and professionals to help children with traumatic pasts,” Mike says. “You absolutely need God in the middle of it.” And if there is one thing in which they are certain, God IS in the middle of it!
If God is calling you to help children on a full-time basis, learn more about Palmer Home for Children’s need for houseparents at our Columbus and Hernando campuses.