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Strong children, strong families, strong communities

Strong children come from strong families. Strong families come from strong communities.

The best way to prevent children from entering foster care is to help their family unit become healthy and stable.

Buckner has cared for children who are separated from their parents since 1879. Originally, Buckner Orphans Home cared for kids who were orphaned in post-civil war Texas. Over the years, the ministry morphed into caring for children in foster care, those whose parents are not able to care for them for a season, or through adoption, children who need a permanent home. 

Through the years, one thing we’ve learned is vulnerable children come from vulnerable families. Families at-risk of abuse or neglect might look like*:

  • Families with caregivers with low education or low income.
  • Families with caregivers suffering from mental illness.
  • Single-parent families with multiple children. 
  • Families without a support system.
  • Families with children with special needs.
  • Families with caregivers with drug or alcohol issues.
  • Families that have household members in jail or prison.
  • Families with high conflict and negative communication styles.

If we truly want to protect and care for children, we must support and strengthen their parents.

When Mom and Dad are healthy and stable, the whole family is better. Children are sponges. They soak up everything they see and hear. When they see their parents in healthy relationships, taking care of their mental health, using healthy coping skills and communication, they can model those behaviors as they grow. Likewise, when children grow up without stable caregivers, they may also model those behaviors. 
Things that help strengthen a family:

  • Mentally and emotionally healthy parents
  • Financial stability
  • Strong communication
  • Access to health care
  • Education
  • A support system

Strong children, strong families, strong community

Some parents must learn to parent.

If a parent didn't grow up with a healthy example of what a parent should be, it can be hard for them to model that for their own kids. Those who grew up witnessing abuse, neglect, poor attachment, poor communication, or toxic relationships may not know what a healthy family should look like. Unless they are taught how to be loving and supportive caregivers, they may end up repeating the mistakes of their parents.

Supporting parents as they raise the next generation

It’s true some parents struggle with addiction or mental illness and are unable to care for their children. Others may be incarcerated or absent. Some parents make poor choices and subject their children to abuse. We must stand ready to protect and care for vulnerable children in these circumstances.
But some parents just need support. Connecting parents to needed resources is crucial to strengthening the family unit and keeping kids out of foster care. 
That support can look life affordable child care, financial empowerment, parenting classes, access to education and health care, counseling, etc. Resources that uplift parents ultimately elevate children too. 

Available resources

Programs available through the Buckner Family Hope Center®, HOPES in Longview and Beaumont, FAYS in Beaumont and the Rio Grande Valley, and Fatherhood EFFECT in Beaumont, are designed to strengthen parents and families so children can thrive. These programs are designed to keep families together and keep kids out of foster care. 
The Family Hope Center programs provide support to families through individualized family coaching, education, parent education, financial empowerment, child and youth development, counseling and spiritual enrichment. 
Buckner HOPES, Buckner FAYS and Fatherhood EFFECT provide services that strengthen families and wrap around the family as a unit and provide them with the needed support and resources they need to succeed. 

Learn more about how families are being strengthened, equipped and elevated our Buckner Family Hope Center® locations.

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