Thursday, December 15, 2011

Staff Award for Growth

Methodist Children’s Home recognizes staff who have demonstrated our core values in their work with our youth and families. The following is an excerpt from the nomination of Suzanne Frerich for the Growth core value award. Suzanne is a unit manager on the Waco campus.

"Suzanne is a self-starter and very organized. She has an excellent working knowledge of our strength-based approach and she has strong relationships with both her staff and the youth and families she serves. One of the core values at MCH is growth. Part of our mission is to provide opportunities for spiritual, physical and emotional development. One such opportunity is the Shepherd of the Ozarks Leadership Conference. Suzanne has organized and facilitated the conference for our youth since December 2008. She attends the conference with our youth as well as being a sponsor during our senior trips. She has assumed this responsibility in addition to her regular duties. Suzanne is always willing to go the extra mile."

Suzanne shared the following about receiving the Growth core value award:

I was very surprised about being recognized. It is rewarding to see our youth grow and mature in a positive way. I enjoy the feeling I get when youth amaze me with their knowledge, talent and kindheartedness.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Staff Award for Hope

Methodist Children’s Home recognizes staff who have demonstrated our core values in their work with our youth and families. The following is an excerpt from the nomination of Jerri Melonson Givens for the Hope core value award. Jerri is a caseworker in the Houston outreach office.

“For the past year, Jerri has been working with one of our youth who is aging out of care and having difficulties in the transition. As many of us can attest, 17 is a hard age and can take a few challenging detours. As Jerri has worked with this youth she has maintained a positive attitude and a belief in the value of each youth having someone determined to see them succeed. She is committed to walking with this youth at one of the most critical times in their lives, transitioning to independence.”

Jerri shared the following about receiving this award and working for MCH:

I am very appreciative of the award and delighted to be recognized. I would like to thank my co-workers. I could not give 100 percent without their assistance. I have a strong desire to make a difference with children and families and everyone works hard to offer hope to them. I will continue to do the best I can. Thank you!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Staff Award for Responsibility

Methodist Children’s Home recognizes staff who have demonstrated our core values in their work with our youth and families. The following is an excerpt from the nomination of Thelma Peters for the Responsibility Core Value Award. Thelma is a lead youth care counselor for a girls’ unit on the Waxahachie campus.

“Thelma is consistently on time with all her required documentation including Revolve, inspections and staff schedules. Thelma exhibits responsibility beyond expectations. When presented with an issue, Thelma approaches the issue from the perspective of a problem solver. Her sense of responsibility is displayed through her dedication to the youth in her home as well as others on the Waxahachie campus. Thelma is committed to providing quality care to our youth and she goes above and beyond on a daily basis at MCH. Thelma is responsible, accountable and trustworthy.”

Thelma shared the following about working on the Waxahachie campus:

I enjoy the time I get to spend with the girls. I get to see their growth and how we make a difference in their lives. I feel that our youth are our future and I like knowing we make an investment in their lives.

Congratulations Thelma!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Staff Award for Christian Principles

Methodist Children’s Home recognizes staff who have demonstrated our core values in their work with the youth and families we serve. We will feature the recent award recipients in upcoming blog posts. The following is an excerpt from the nomination of Nicole Ehler for the Christian Principles award. Nicole serves as director of program services for the Boys Ranch.

“Nicole epitomizes Methodist Children’s Home core values by living and teaching Christian principles, building healthy and trusting relationships with our students, taking responsibility and accountability for self and others, providing opportunities for growth in spirit, mind and body, and helping the students she serves to believe in themselves and the possibility of a bright future. Nicole consistently presents herself in a responsible, polite and gracious manner with a healthy dose of common sense. She speaks respectfully and calmly with both staff and students and always acknowledges the needs of others and seeks their input on decisions. Her professionalism and creativity are boundless as she strives to provide meaningful, educational and fun activities for MCH students, such as the Ranch Stampede, Fall Festival and Community Chapel Service and Lunch. Nicole is a greatly valued staff member, mentor and friend, and the Boys Ranch is honored and blessed to have her as part of our team.”

Nicole shared the following on how she feels about working at MCH:

I love working with the Boys Ranch youth. The boys always exceed my expectations. I am challenged and appreciated, and I cannot help but want to do a good job when I am surrounded by such great people.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

MCH Spirit Committee

The MCH Spirit Committee is comprised of staff who volunteer extra time to help encourage our athletic teams and build campus spirit. The committee accomplishes this goal by decorating buses before out-of-town games, providing goodie bags for the athletes and organizing homecoming events. They also worked hard to make mums and boutonnieres for our youth to wear to show their spirit during the Homecoming game last Friday, October 28.

The Bulldogs faced the Brazos Valley Christian Home School Mustangs for the Homecoming game and triumphed! Way to go Bulldogs! And thank you to everyone involved in the Spirit Committee for helping to make this Homecoming a memorable one.

Friday, October 14, 2011

An Everyday Miracle

Methodist Children’s Home is dedicated to the families and individuals who open their homes and hearts to fostering the children who come into our care.

Traci Wagner, director of the Tyler outreach office, shared the following testimony about a success story from one of their foster families.

When children leave foster care, we hope they were able to see Jesus in us. We hope that God will use something from our brief time together to bless the child on their way towards the future God has for them. Recently, we were blessed to see one of those everyday miracles where God takes something that has been so difficult and turns it into something unbelievably beautiful.

Sumer entered MCH foster care in July 2010. She was removed from her home along with her two half-siblings. CPS placed all of the siblings in different foster homes with different agencies. In February 2011, we received notification that Sumer would be reunified with her siblings. Fortunately, for this little one, she moved from her only foster home to her forever home. God’s plan to reunite her and her siblings was through adoption. Our MCH foster family was invited to the adoption hearing by the adoptive family to participate in the celebration. The East foster family is in the photo below. It was an encouragement to be reminded that God has a plan for them after they leave our care. In essence, I suppose they aren’t ever really “released from care.”

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Waxahachie welcomes new on-campus school program

The Methodist Children’s Home Waxahachie campus has partnered with Southwest Charter Schools to offer an on-campus school program this year. Southwest is based out of Houston, Texas.

The Waxahachie campus school is called the Phoenix. We currently have 31 youth attending the charter school and six youth attending public school.

The charter school offers core classes, music appreciation, Spanish, psychology/sociology and health.

Our Waxahachie program is offered on the campus of Presbyterian Children’s Home and Services. Five of PCHAS youth are attending the charter school.

Monday, September 26, 2011

MCH Celebrates National Grandparents Day

The Grandparents as Parents Program (GAPP) is a community outreach program located on the Waco campus. Rehan McNeil, lead program coordinator, and Dave McHam, coordinator, currently serve 49 grandparents. These grandparents combined are raising 135 grandchildren.

GAPP offers support groups, parenting workshops and enrichment activities to help equip these families facing new challenges. They kicked off the fall season by celebrating National Grandparents Day on September 12. The grandparents were honored by attending an informal meal at a local restaurant. Fun and fellowship was enjoyed by all.

Lori Battles, a GAPP client, with her two granddaughters
Rehan McNeil with Juanita Gallegos, a GAPP client

Friday, September 16, 2011

MCH Alumni Association supports new Heritage Park project

The MCH Bulldogs are enjoying a successful start to their 2011 football season, and they invite staff and youth to come out to watch their home games at the new Bulldog Field at Heritage Park.

The football field, located at the back of the Waco campus, is the first phase of a new development called Heritage Park, which will also include upgrades to the area near the pavilions. Although the project is still in the planning stages, discussion about Heritage Park has included ideas to build a new softball field near the Alumni Pavilion, improvements to the basketball/tennis court, a new volleyball court, and a walking/jogging trail.

Heritage Park will recognize the rich history of MCH, and significant funding for this project is being provided through earnings from the MCH Alumni Association Endowment Fund. Alumni provided funding for six sets of bleachers and the scoreboard at Bulldog Field, and funds will soon be used to build two Heritage Park entryways. Another generous donor made a gift to purchase the goalposts at Bulldog Field. Future projects will be completed as funding becomes available through the Alumni Association and individual donors.

In recognition of the legacy of former MCH football teams, the Bulldogs are wearing a Badger decal on the back of their helmets. From the 1920s to 1940s, MCH was known for its successful football program. During this time, the team’s mascot was the Badgers. The football program ended in the late 1940s when MCH youth began attending Waco public schools.

In addition to Heritage Park, the Alumni Association has provided funding for the Boys Ranch Recreation and Activities Center and renovations to Harrell Memorial Chapel in recent years.

“Methodist Children’s Home is a community with a rich history of traditions and a great legacy and heritage of contributing to the positive growth and development of young people,” said Tim Brown, MCH president. “I believe the Alumni Association appreciates the value of this, and they have chosen a unique way to celebrate and affirm their role as mentors.

“Heritage Park is both a symbolic and functional project that will serve not only as a reminder of our history, but will celebrate the continuing accomplishments of the young people who benefit from similar experiences in the future as part of their own growth and development here.”

To view the MCH Bulldogs' 2011-2012 athletics schedule, click here.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Albuquerque Outreach Office Open House

The Albuquerque, New Mexico outreach office held an open house on August 19. Twenty agencies and members attended. The two-hour event included a light snack and a presentation of the MCH outreach services.

Many new relationships were made that will help to provide more complete services to the families in the Albuquerque area.

Special thanks to Melissa Opheim (vice president of community services), Kelly Smith (western regional administrator), and Maggie Rogers (church relations officer) for making the trip to join us!

Thank you to Alicia Carter, Albuquerque outreach director, for providing this blog post and photos.

Friday, September 9, 2011

MCH Bulldogs' Athletic Schedule

Stay up-to-date on MCH’s athletic teams and their progress this season. We have a page dedicated to keeping track of our team’s schedules and scores year-round. The link to the MCH athletics web page can be found at

Look for this icon:

To go there now, click here.

Thank you for your continued support of our teams! Go Bulldogs!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Ozarks Leadership Conference

Youth from the Home’s three residential campuses attended the Shepherd of the Ozarks Youth Leadership Conference August 8-12, 2011. The conference was hosted by the Southwestern Association of Executives of Homes for Children.

Eighteen youth, who have been identified as potential leaders on their campuses, enjoyed a week in the heart of the Ozark Mountains in Arkansas.

Our youth were involved in outdoor activities such as the ropes course, hiking, rock climbing and horseback riding, along with praise and worship services. Through these activities, they had opportunities to learn and practice leadership skills. They were also challenged to return to their own campuses and demonstrate these skills in their home units and schools.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Boys Ranch Residents Place at State 4-H Photo Contest

Austin, Jericho and Dylan, youth from our Boys Ranch, won five awards at the state 4-H photo contest in August. Austin won first place in animal and macro photography, Jericho won first place in elements of design and landscaping, and Dylan won second place in dominate color.

The youth advanced to the state competition by winning contests at the county and regional levels. The boys entered work from a summer photography program taught by Cheryl Dishman, a homeparent at the Ranch.

Please join us in congratulating Austin, Jericho and Dylan! MCH appreciates Cheryl and the many other staff members who share their gifts and talents with our youth.

Austin's photo entry

Dylan's photo entry

Jericho's photo entry

Jericho's photo entry

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

It's football season again!

It's that time of year again! High school football teams all over the state are hitting the practice field. The MCH Bulldogs are getting ready for their second season of six-man football. Their first game will be on Saturday, August 27, at 3 p.m. against Vanguard College Preparatory School, played at the Parkview Christian Academy field. We hope to see you there!

For the complete season schedule, visit our athletics page on the MCH website.

Check out our team in action!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

MCH Earns COA Reaccreditation

Methodist Children’s Home President Tim Brown received word today (August 10) that the Council on Accreditation (COA) has granted reaccreditation to MCH.

Mr. Brown was notified of the reaccreditation in a letter from Mr. Richard Klarberg, President and Chief Executive Officer of COA.

“Reaccreditation is a tremendous achievement that demonstrates that your organization is recognized as a provider that continues to successfully implement high performance standards and, as such, is delivering the highest quality services to all of its stakeholders,” wrote Mr. Klarberg.

According to the announcement, the COA reaccreditation process involves a detailed review and analysis of both an organization’s administrative operations and its service delivery practices. All are measured against national standards of best practice. In addition, they confirm that the services are provided by a skilled and supported workforce and that all individuals are treated with dignity and respect.

“Of course we are delighted to receive this well-deserved and wonderful news of re-accreditation by the Council on Accreditation,” Mr. Brown said. “However, I am even more impressed and humbled by the teamwork and the extraordinary efforts of our staff and Board of Directors who contributed valiantly to this achievement in the midst of a number of other time constraints, demands on their personal time and interrupted business schedules. I am very proud of our staff and this recognition which I believe will become even more significant in the next few years.”

Founded in 1977, COA is an independent not-for-profit international accreditor of the full continuum of community-based behavioral health care and human service organizations.

We will post additional information about our reaccreditation in the coming days.

Friday, August 5, 2011

MCH Childcare Staff Receive Training from TCU Institute of Child Development

This week on the Waco campus, Dr. Karyn Purvis and Dr. David Cross from Texas Christian University (TCU) trained MCH staff from all campuses on Trust-Based Relational Intervention (TBRI). Both Dr. Purvis and Dr. Cross teach at the Institute of Child Development at TCU.

According to TCU’s website, TBRI is based on a solid foundation of neuropsychological theory and research, tempered by humanitarian principals. It is a family-based intervention that is designed for children who have experienced relationship-based traumas such as institutionalization, multiple foster placements, maltreatment, and/or neglect.

This training will help equip our front-line staff to better meet the needs of children and youth in our care.

Here are some photos from the training the TCU team has done at the Home.