Once again a new year is upon us! 2015 was a blessed year full of new stories about our boys. This year alone we welcomed 6 new boys into our facility. We had six children transition from our houseparent cottage into foster homes. Trevor, David, Cole, and Jason progressed enough to move down from our highest level of care to our C Cottage with the houseparent’s. Jacob, Jonathan, George, Daniel, Shane, and Lamarius were able to move into our on campus foster homes from our C cottage. This year White Field’s celebrated another high school graduate, Devo, who is attending Southern Nazarene University. We were able to serve a total of 20 children this year in these levels of care. In 2016 we eagerly anticipate Johnnie and Dylon graduating from high school, both of whom now live in a forever home.
White Fields continues to grow our foster care program, in September we welcomed the Smith family to our campus as foster parents. Lynden Smith was already serving a cottage supervisor in our D+ acute care cottage. He and his wife Crystal felt the calling to open their lives to parenting our boys on a full time basis. Since their family joined White Fields foster care, both Shane and Lamarius have been placed into their home. Their story is truly inspiring as they fully committed their entire family to loving and welcoming foster children into their home. We are happy to have them join our mission here on campus!
One of the defining characteristics of White Field’s is that we have multiple levels of care on our campus. When our children arrive on campus, they have been in an average of 18 different places in the past two years; think about just having to uproot and move 9 times each year! They have done nothing wrong in their lives except to have parents who have sexually, physically and emotionally abused them. Many of the behaviors White Fields staff deal with are not only from the prior abuse these children have endured, but also from never being taught basic living skills such as proper communication and self-hygiene. These and other factors contribute to the child being unable to function in a family setting such as a foster home or simple group home. When they arrive on our campus they usually come from an in-patient psychiatric center and are placed into a D level cottage full of 24-hour awake staff to help teach them basic living skills and work through their traumatic experiences. Each boy receives 2 hours of group therapy a week, 1 hour of individual therapy a week, and one hour of art therapy a week. The initial phase of White Field’s care is critical to establishing trust with the boys so that they are comfortable with the fact that they will not be uprooted again. Some boys take longer than others to heal, but all of our children long for the family atmosphere that the houseparent cottage provides.
After our treatment staff feels the boys have stabilized enough to function in a home environment, they are moved to C cottage staffed by houseparents, Derek and Belen Schering. A relief set of parents, Matt and Crystal Wiseman, work as respite houseparents two and a half days a week. The children who live in White Fields C Cottage attend public school at Deer Creek and participate in sports and other activities.
As the children show that they can handle a less restrictive environment and are emotionally healing, they are once again eligible for a move to a less restrictive level of care, which is our foster home. The older children in the foster homes are able to provide our younger and less stable children with positive influences and act as role models. Having our foster homes on campus allows for relationships that have been built with staff, friends, school and church to remain consistent as they transition into their forever family.
Gifts and support like yours enable us to provide high levels of care for our children while enabling them to work on their issues and provide through therapy and the other services. We have no doubt in our mind that without the care our boys receive while in our care, they would surely end up in a psychiatric facility or some sort of detainment. As 2016 begins we look forward to helping each boy grow emotionally and spiritually while continuing to set the standard for group home care! Our goal this year, with your continued support, is to allow more children the opportunity to experience a normal and safe life. God bless you and thank you for helping heal our children, we simply could not do this without you!
Frank Alberson, Executive Director