Level One Program
Train Them Up
Infants to Pre Teen
Level Two Program
Roots and Wings
Teen to Independence
As a professional in the field of social work with six years in the realm of foster care I have witnessed firsthand the short-comings of the government running programs created to nurture and at times raise children. Many times the hands of caseworkers and foster parents are tied due to the red tape of bureaucracy and many times funding. Some may ask;
'How is Jacob's House different from foster care? Jacob's House is committed to all children for as short or long of a period as needed. In addition, Jacob's House is able to implement a much more open Christian teaching and guidance than traditional foster homes. In the foster care system sibling groups are split and often not re-united even when adopted they frequently are separated into different families, a lifelong trauma as siblings are often the longest lasting bond/relationship a person has in their life. Jacob's House does not split sibling groups. Last but definitely not least if a child is not a good fit for a foster home the foster family can request the child to be moved at any time. I'm not saying this is always a bad call on the family's part, but frequently once the child leaves the foster family moves on to focus on other foster children. The trauma of repeated abandonment marks the child's life. With Jacob's House, a child always has the love and support of the program. If their needs are more advanced than what Jacob's House is equipped to handle, the kids along with Penny, Dan, volunteers and staff all continue to offer ongoing support and love through continued contact and welcoming arms if the child/family returns for visits.
Aren't children better off with multiple people working as a Team and with a Judge to determine their permanent placement?’
It is often healthy to have a Team to brainstorm and monitor a family's progress, regarding the needs of the child and the process of reunification. However, due to budget constraints, time constraints and manpower constraints this process often takes longer than is healthy or necessary. The foster care system is often bound by statutes or laws in place for the good of those involved; however, can also hinder progress. For example, if a child would do better in a home school environment this is not an option for a foster care child and sometimes these children who struggle in public school systems are placed in residential programs simply because they are required to attend public school and cannot function in such an environment.
What does this mean? What is the difference?
The difference is with a solid Christian foundation, consistent boundaries, forgiveness and patience being practiced and demonstrated daily without constraints of state or federals, children and families have more room to focus on growing, healing and moving forward versus a legal battle. These same families and children are supplied with a never ending support system through the love of Jacob's House whereas with the foster care system once a case is closed the system moves on to the next case in need unable to offer ongoing support or services.
Jacob's House program allows for a stronger degree of flexibility. They believe in building networks and connecting children and families with those who are caring and carefully matching connections and families with areas of interests or specific needs vs. a generalized volunteer program.
Children are encouraged and cheered on regarding their individual interests and attempts are made to develop and grow their fullest potential, and presented with opportunities often not available to other teens or children due to the hard work Dan and Penny put in to building community connections.
At Jacob's House, children learn responsibilities and the benefits of hard work through chore charts for household tasks as well as pitching in for ranch work. The pay off for their hard work includes allowance, special outings, and plenty of opportunities to play hard on the property as well.
Although Jacob's House is a home for children and teens, guidance and mentoring is also offered to parents as they work and strive to heal and move forward. This is another characteristic unique to Jacob's House. The focus is on the family, not just the children - the whole, not the individual parts.
It is this wraparound process that is unique to the Jacob's House program.
In summary, Jacob's House offers Permanency, a lifelong membership to a wide and vast family, regardless if they are there for one day or years. Some may not realize that even when a child is legally adopted through the foster care system, the child can be 'returned' to the state as a failed adoption and placed back into the foster care system. Jacob's House is 100% committed to the children and families served- ongoing support through respite care, community, prayer- and if a plan were to fall through, the child or children are able to return to Jacob's House, not placed into a system for an indefinite amount of time, forgotten, abandoned, and waiting.
Train Them Up ~ Level One
At Jacob's House we are
Building Futures and Supporting Dreams
in every generation.
The kitchen is the heart of our home with laughter and learning and cleaning up....well laughter and learning are favorites but the cleaning up part still needs work
I still remember the first conversation I had with Ms. Penny as a 16 year old girl standing in her office for the first time. I'd never had much of a happy life before that moment and I wasn't expecting anything from this tiny stranger whose personality made up for her size. I remember that she looked me straight in the eyes and told me, "Victoria, when you come here to Jacobs House it doesn't matter what you did in your past or what anyone said about you, you're starting fresh with me and I'll trust you until you give me reason not to. And remember, I'll love you no matter what." Maybe some kids are used to hearing that from their parents but it was a new thing for me and something in me at that moment resolved to be a better person because for the first time someone had given me a reason to. I'm almost 19 now and I always look back at the time I spent on the ranch as my “sunshine days” because everything I know about being happy I learned while I was there. I know that creating and writing and enjoying the simple things are what make me really happy, not possessions or money although I need that to survive now that I am on my own. If I'd never gone to Jacobs House I never would've had time to be a child, to not have worries or responsibilities other than chores and while that time was brief I cherish every memory of it. Sadly I can't stay a child and have a successful life but I'll never lose sight of who I was or the things I learned from my conversations with Ms. Penny who I still see as a mentor. The passing of time is inevitable and memories fade but going back to the ranch to visit is like being able to spend one more day carefree and happy like I'd never left. It's nice having that one place to go back to where they know the best and worst sides of you but love you enough to only remind you of the good. I've moved around so much in my life and lost so many people that I didn't know what being emotionally attached even felt like. In retrospect I realize that I hadn't just moved into the ranch for a brief time, the ranch had moved into my heart to stay. It's bittersweet because I've grown up and can't go visit whenever I want to but I know I have roots that dug into the ground there and every time I think of Jacobs House I feel them tug at me, so that no matter where I go in the world I can always follow them home.
Past Resident forever family
Roots & Wings ~Level Two
As a Registered Nurse who decided to become a full time volunteer and donor for the past year, I have had the PRIVILEGE of getting to know Jacob's House through personal experience. Many days I've been there as part of the team from daylight to dusk.....overseeing the chores and dishing out the rewards, working through tough times then celebrating their notable accomplishments, encouraging them to DREAM BIG and be the best that they could be, and always ALWAYS talking about our God who made this home possible.
The atmosphere at Jacob's House is that of a normal home environment for the kids who come here, totally opposite of the institutional-style facilities governed by the State. As a nurse, I've been in those State facilities, and at the end of the day, my heart was always heavy for the kids who were placed there. I saw no improvements; I saw warehousing..... I saw no love; I saw staff going through the motions of putting in their shifts and going home. What I didn't see, but what I WANTED to see, was compassion and legitimate concern in providing these kids the kind of help they truly needed to succeed in life.
Compassion, and legitimate concern is what I found at Jacob's House. Kids that live there are encouraged to strive for excellence, even when some of them are there for being far from perfect themselves. But perfect or not, these kids are loved unconditionally; they KNOW it, they FEEL it, and they RESPOND to it. The best example of this that I can personally give is that of a 13 year old boy who was placed there last year when all other State facility options had been exhausted. He failed to get help in every facility he was placed in....this was his last chance at a life of normalcy before his parents gave up on him. I watched this rebellious, defiant, beautiful kid try to find his way, try to fight through the sedating effects of the multiple psychiatric medications he was prescribed in order to "control" his behavior. While he provided many challenges during this past year, by the grace of God and the team at Jacob's House, this 14 year old boy has turned into a wonderful young man that any parent would be proud to call their own. He has learned responsibility, accountability, respect and love for others....without being on any prescribed medications. It's humbling to think that I was given the opportunity to be a part of helping him find his way. (read more of Kalebs story)
He is only one of many kids still out there who need a place like this. Jacob's House is here today because the founder made a lifelong covenant with God to provide for these kids. Without the compassion, dedication and unrelenting persistence of Penny and her husband Dan, the Directors at Jacob's House, none of this would have been possible. Their character is above reproach, their hearts are bound to the Lord. Jacob's House is privately funded by donors who have the same love and concern for these lost kids as they do. They receive no State or Federal funding, so it's up to all of us to continue providing support so Jacob's House can continue to excel in it's mission. We are all responsible for children in need. "And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me" Mathew 25:40 KJV
RN and Full Time Volunteer
Full Time Volunteer