The 3 Types of Foster Care at Palmer Home & How You Can Serve

June 8, 2023

Six pre-teen friends piggybacking in a park

What does Foster Care mean at Palmer Home? What are the different ways you can serve? Read below to learn more about our four core service lines and how you can have a positive impact in the life of a child in need.

Palmer Home for Children, and more specifically, our caregivers, provide a safe home for children in need. Our organization offers three unique ways to become a foster parent and depend on employees and volunteers in order to carry out our mission. Below you can read more about each type of Foster Care at Palmer Home. We humbly ask that you prayerfully consider whether you feel led to serve in of these capacities.


Campus Care

The ‘heart and history’ of our mission, our campus is what most people think of when they think of Palmer Home. Located in Northwest Mississippi about 30 minutes south of downtown Memphis, the Palmer Home campus is a slice of serenity spread across 150 acres. On campus are seven homes which house 8-10 children each, staffed by loving houseparents, a husband-and-wife couple whose biological children may live in the home as well.

When a child is first admitted to Palmer Home, they typically are placed in a home on our campus versus in one of the other care settings (described in more detail below). Palmer Home is working toward a goal of each child staying in campus care no longer than two years; the goal is that each child would either be

  1. Placed in a smaller family unit with a Palmer Home Foster Care family (more details below), or
  2. Reunified with their biological family if it’s safe and healthy to do so, or
  3. Progress to our Transitional Care program if they turn 18 years old while in care.

Campus Care houseparents are full-time employees of Palmer Home who care for the children and manage the on-campus home as if they were their own. To learn more about being a houseparent at Palmer Home, please click here.

Palmer Home Campus Care


Family Care

Palmer Home Family Care provides a safe home for infants of incarcerated mothers. When a pregnant woman is sentenced to prison, she has 72 hours or less to decide who will care for her baby after birth while she serves the remainder of her sentence. Some women already know who this caregiver will be, but many others do not – they don’t have a partner or family who can help, or their family lives hours away, or any other number of reasons.

Palmer Home Family Care caregivers selflessly volunteer to be this caregiver: they care for the baby as their own in their home and maintain communication with mom so their bond can remain strong.

The program is currently based in Nashville in partnership with the Debra K. Johnson Rehabilitation Center, and Palmer Home is seeking to expand the program to other prisons. To learn more about Palmer Home Family Care, or see if becoming a caregiver might be a good fit for your family, please click here.

Palmer Home Family Care


Foster Care

Palmer Home Foster Care is most like the ‘traditional’ foster care you may be familiar with. After undergoing a certification process, caregiver volunteers welcome a child into their home and family, and care for them as their own.

Unlike other foster care systems, however, Palmer Home foster parents are not paid for caring for a child; it’s truly for those who are mission-minded. Most children are placed with a Palmer Home Foster Care family after living on our campus and being paired through an intentional matching process. A child in traditional foster can move up to 15 times; at Palmer Home, we strive for the first placement to be the right one.

Palmer Home foster parents commit to partnering with us for reunification with a child’s biological family if it’s a safe, healthy and viable option. We realize that reunification isn’t always possible, and for some children, Palmer Home Foster Care can lead to permanent adoption.

Palmer Home is currently licensed to provide Foster Care in Mississippi, Tennessee and Alabama, so if you’re located in one of these three states and would like to learn more about becoming a Palmer Home foster family, please click here.

Palmer Home Foster Care


Transitional Care

What if you are interested in serving the young adults in our Transitional Care program? There are two ways to do so – become a Palmer Home foster parent as described above, or become a mentor, which is not a foster parent role. Mentors engage with a child or young adult for the purpose of building long-term relationships as a healthy influence, advocate, and resource in their life. A mentor can be a family, a couple, or an individual and can serve a child of any age in Palmer Home’s care. The ultimate goal of mentorship is to provide a lifelong supportive relationship, even beyond a child’s time in Palmer Home’s care.

Palmer Home Transitional Care


Becoming a Foster Parent is a Rewarding Opportunity

Becoming a Foster Parent or mentor is one of the most impactful things you can do in a vulnerable child’s life. Research shows that the more healthy, positive relationships a child has in their life, the better their chance of having a healthy, independent future. We understand it’s a big commitment, and we ask that you prayerfully consider opening your heart and home to a child in need.


Other Ways to Get Involved at Palmer Home for Children

Beyond becoming a foster parent or mentor, there are many ways you can help the children at Palmer Home and serve our mission. We are always seeking volunteers to serve the children and our campus in various capacities. To find an opportunity that fits your skills and interests, please visit

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