Amarillo Children's Home

Together We Are Greater Than

aka Presbyterian Home for Children   |   Amarillo, TX   |  www.amarillochildrenshome.org

Mission

AMARILLO CHILDREN'S HOME is a foster care group home caring for children from backgrounds of abuse and neglect. OUR MISSION IS TO RESTORE THE IDENTITY OF CHILDREN SO THEY CAN REALIZE THEIR GREAT VALUE AND BE A BLESSING TO OTHERS. By restoring a child's identity, we can make a positive difference both in how a child engages in the world and in their future generations.

Ruling year info

1925

President

Darrin Murphy

Main address

3400 Bowie St

Amarillo, TX 79109 USA

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Formerly known as

Presbyterian Children's Home

The Children's Home

EIN

75-0800666

NTEE code info

Foster Care (P32)

Residential, Custodial Care (Group Home) (P70)

Homes for Children & Adolescents (P76)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Over 415,000 children in the U.S. currently reside in some form of foster care , and nearly 17,000 of those children alone are Texans. Securing the appropriate level of resources for all of these children and families is an ongoing challenge for society. Most children who enter foster care have been exposed to many conditions that undermine their chances for healthy development, and the needs for these children are great.

Here in Texas, 76% of foster children were placed in foster care as a result of child abuse investigations . Children may exhibit behavioral problems as a result of their experiences. They may also experience grief at the separation from their natural parents and siblings. The emotional and psychological challenges that form as they try to adjust to new environments also put their educational success at risk.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Caring for a Child Program

From the moment a child enters a home at ACH, they are welcomed and affirmed by staff members whose primary interest is for each child in their care to achieve success. Upon arrival, children are welcomed into pleasant homes, receive nutritious meals, and find that all of their needs from a toothbrush to formal dress for the prom are provided. Children in our care get to experience family at its best: preparing and eating meals as a family, problem solving and making decisions as a family, studying and learning new skills with their peers, worshipping in church and serving in mission pursuits as a family. Our children learn how to think well of themselves and be emotionally supportive of others in the family. They learn others care about them and want to open possibilities never before considered. They begin to feel like normal kids rather than those marginalized by society.

Population(s) Served

Our goal at Amarillo Children’s Home is to give our youth as many opportunities for personal growth and development as possible. Through our Extracurricular Activities Program, our kids can experience age appropriate activities that will broaden their view of the world and help them develop a more positive view about school, their placement, as well as peers and authority figures. The Program gives them the opportunity to take yearly vacations to destinations like the beach or the mountains, or even Disneyland. They learn to push themselves on backpacking trips and gain confidence on both low and high ropes courses at summer camp. They cultivate social capital by building social networks through extracurricular groups at school and church. Our kids experience normalcy!

Population(s) Served

The realities facing foster youth who turn 18 cannot be ignored. Sadly almost half of all foster youth become homeless within 18 months of emancipation and one in four former foster youth will be incarcerated within the first two years of emancipation. The great majority of these youth did not finish high school. Nationally, only 39% of all kids in foster care graduate from high school. To address the staggering problem facing these youth as well as our society as a whole, Amarillo Children’s Home (ACH) created the Transitional and Independent Living Concepts (TLC) Program. This program prepares high school youth to graduate from high school and successfully make the transition from foster care to independent living. We have seen huge successes in the TLC Program since it began 11 years ago, as is evidenced by these statistics: 74% of the kids who have participated in the TLC program have graduated from high school, and 48% of the kids who have participated in the TLC Program have attended some college. In the state of Texas “only 10% of kids in foster care who graduate from high school attend college.”

Population(s) Served

Where we work

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Our goal is to daily live out our mission at Amarillo Children's Home to restore the identity of children so they can realize their great value and be a blessing others.

We do this by meeting the immediate physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of each child who comes to Amarillo Children's Home.

Our vision is to inspire and facilitate generational change through children.

Our programs address these needs by providing:
• A family-style environment with up to eight children and a married house parent couple living in each cottage;
• Additional services as needed: academic coaches, therapists, psychologists, psychiatrists, and mental health counselors;
• Enrollment in the appropriate academic setting in Amarillo Independent School District;
• A culture of spiritual development in the home which encourages devotions, mealtime prayer, church attendance, and church related activities;
• Opportunities to develop interests and skills by pursuing extra-curricular activities such as team sports, scouting, clubs, and other programs;
• Opportunities to help others through regular service activities, such as neighborhood clean-up projects, providing gifts for “Angel Tree" recipients, homeless outreach, etc.;
• Reinforcement of positive decision making and support through failure.

Life at Amarillo Children's Home
When a new child arrives at Amarillo Children's Home, an inventory is taken of what they have, which is often nothing more than the clothes on their back. House parents and the clothing coordinator determine the child's basic needs plus additional items that will help the child “feel normal." Feeling normal is important because the children already think they are different and feel ostracized and marginalized as a result of being in foster care. We start changing that perception immediately. New clothes, a comfortable bed, food, and other basic needs that most consider essential for safety and security also help us express value and worth in the everyday moments of life. Some of those moments also include providing our children with an allowance, a bicycle to ride, along with a helmet and pads, the opportunity to play a sport, sing in the choir, or play an instrument. We provide games, toys, equipment, and technology – all that a child in 2018 needs to feel normal and included. In addition, we are just as intentional in creating exciting life-long memories through special events. It is through campus vacations, equine therapy, museum memberships, day trips, camps, and summer visits to the pool that we create these lasting memories giving our children every reason to look back on their experiences at Amarillo Children's Home as positive.

We have 94 years of proven success in working with children, and we believe we are only as strong as the adults who are caring for our children. We are grateful for a strong team of leaders at ACH. President, Darrin Murphy has dual Masters in Counseling and Theology and a BS in Special Education. Darrin previously headed the Behavioral Sciences department for Amarillo Independent School District and has over 20 years' experience as a minister, counselor, educational/corporate trainer and youth leader. Director of Operations John Emmitt oversees all programs at Amarillo Children's Home. He has served for 9 years with ACH, 2 years with his wife as a house parent and 7 years as a supervisor. John and Darrin helped lead us through the process of creating our new WE Program that was implemented during the summer of 2016. Dustin Williams, Direct Care Supervisor, has over 13 years of experience working with at-risk youth, including 10 years at Cal Farley's Boys Ranch and 3 1/2 years with Amarillo Children's Home. He's certified in Satori Alternatives to Managing Aggression (SAMA) and provides support, guidance, and crisis management training to all our direct care staff. Home Life Supervisor Melanie Padilla (14 yrs. on staff), served as a house parent for 11 years and now coaches, guides, and supports our direct care staff. Jo Ann Wilson, with 8 years' tenure, holds a state Director's License, ensures licensing compliance, and coordinates our intake of new youth.

One of our primary strengths at Amarillo Children's Home is first our commitment to fulfill both our Mission: to restore the identity of children so they can realize their great value and be a blessing to others, and our Vision: to inspire and facilitate generational change through children in every relationship we have with every child. In addition, we have worked diligently during the last 5 years to develop, train, and maintain a strong administrative staff. Turnover among administrative staff has been low (6% a year or 1 position annually for the last 4 years), providing continuity to our organization. Because we have devoted the time and resources to strengthening our administrative staff, they are well-trained and devoted to recruiting and retaining the best equipped direct care staff possible. The direct care staff or house parents who are dedicated to caring for foster kids and modeling a healthy family are literally the backbone of our program. In order to efficiently equip them, Amarillo Children's Home developed, wrote, and implemented a new child behavior development program, the WE Program, for use by our direct care staff in each of our group homes. The WE Program represents a shift from behavior modification to positive reinforcement. Within this Program, we operate under the basic precept that when our house parents apply our mission statement into the daily interactions with our kids and demonstrate a willingness to “do whatever it takes" to achieve success, the kids respond positively. Because they continually receive positive reinforcement, our kids respond by developing and exhibiting healthy behavior patterns in the home, school, and in public with adults and peers, alike.

Financials

Amarillo Children's Home
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Amarillo Children's Home

Board of directors
as of 09/08/2020
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Mark Gilliland

Gilliland Investment Management

Term: 2018 - 2019


Board co-chair

Dustin Roberts

Amarillo Construction

Term: 2018 - 2019

Joy Berry

Premier Vision

Joe Wood

Retired commodity broker, cattle rancher and market analyst for Texas Cattle Feeders Association

Janet Laughter

Retired elementary school principal

Scott Chappell

Amarillo Police Department

Phyllis Enloe

Entrepreneur

Mark Gilbreath

Caprock Building Systems

JoAnn Jolley

Retired teacher

Chip McCampbell

Bruckner Truck Sales

April Sessler

Retired Associate Vice President of Student Affairs, Amarillo College; worked closely with students in foster care

Tim Williams

Attorney, Sprouse Shrader Smith

Robert Villegas

Assistant Principal, Hereford Preparatory Academy; alumni of Amarillo Children’s Home