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House Parent Job Description


LOCATION: The Refuge Ranch, Bastrop TX
START DATE: June 2018


The role of the house parent is to act as a parent, advocate, life skills teacher, and role model for the youth of THE REFUGE for DMST. He or she provides a structured, nurturing home environment that promotes inclusiveness and fosters a sense of belonging, life skills, education, and acculturation with preserving the youth’s own culture. He or she is responsible for ensuring safety at all times through close supervision and high interaction with youth and for implementing agency policies, procedures, and philosophy.   




  • Complete PRIDE pre-service training and meet competency criteria as well as maintain mandatory annual training hours.
  • Successfully complete initial Home Study process, quarterly monitoring visits, two-year re-validation.
  • Assist youth in the acculturation process to ensure successful functioning within the home, work, community, and school environments.
  • Promote the development of life and academic skills to all youth in the home.
  • Consistently implement daily schedule that creates life skills teaching opportunities.
  • Promote vocational and educational learning opportunities to include cooking meals with children.
  • Create a warm, welcoming learning environment.
  • Ensure individual service plan goals, objectives, and strategies are implemented on a daily basis.
  • Be responsible for timely and accurate communication within program (e.g. incident reports, verbal reports, shift documentation).
  • Ensure all administrative duties are carried out in a timely manner.
  • Advocate for youth by working closely with school personnel, therapist, physician, psychiatrist, and other key professionals to ensure youth’s needs are being met.
  • Operate home within the budget.
  • Host youth relatives and friends to promote family and community connections as applicable
  • Collaborate with support staff in the daily management of the home.
  • Coordinate, implement, and engage with youth in family-oriented recreational activities, promoting family fun and healthy lifestyles, such as yoga and equine therapy.
  • Supervise residents in their daily activities while creating a safe and nurturing home environment.
  • Provide transportation for residents to legal and medical appointments, activity outings, etc.
  • Ensure all youth’s basic needs and rights are met in a humane and dignified manner at all times.
  • Be present to celebrate with the youth during all key holidays and personal achievements, such as birthdays, Christmas, Easter, graduations, etc. 
  • Collaborate with Case Manager on developmental needs.
  • Participate in regular Circles of Care treatment team meetings to discuss youth’s service plans, progress, and challenges.
  • Collaborate with program staff as needed in relation to the needs of youth.
  • Participate in supervisory meetings/trainings appropriate for job function.



High School Diploma or equivalent required.

At least one year of experience working with youth required.

Bilingual in English and Spanish preferred.

Positive role model for youth and co-workers while promoting positive work environment.

Must be willing to give and receive constructive feedback for skill development.

Meet all program and model of care professional competencies.

Maturity and sensitivity to cultural and individual differences.

Ability to maintain professional demeanor while exercising judgment and discretion in work.

Must be able to read and write to complete professional documentation requirements.

Basic computer skills.

Ability to work both independently and as an active team member.

Excellent interpersonal, oral, and written communication skills.

Ability to follow oral and written instructions.

Ability to read and interpret documents, such as operating and maintenance instructions, procedure manuals, and professional journals.

Ability to write reports and correspondence.

Ability to maintain confidentiality.


Other requirements:

Must have reliable transportation, valid Texas driver’s license, and valid vehicle insurance.

Position requires driving in personal vehicle and/or agency vehicle to include freeways and highways to satellite offices, offsite meetings, and events as needed.

Must be able to work on a flexible schedule as needed to meet work, program, and project deadlines.



Requires contact by telephone, written communication, and in-person with state agency personnel, foster families, families of house parents, and reunification related agencies.


Equipment Used

Desktop computer, laptop computer, telephone, calculator, fax machine, and/or copier.


Working Conditions

Work is carried out in several settings, including office, homes, and various recreational settings.

Occasional evening or weekend hours may be required.  

Mandatory attendance to team meetings once per week.  

Travel anticipated between sites, home office, and event venues.


Physical Requirements

While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to sit; use hands to finger, handle, or feel; reach with hands and arms; and talk or hear. The employee frequently is required to stand.  The employee is occasionally required to walk.  The employee must regularly lift and/or move up to 10 pounds and occasionally lift and/or move up to 50 pounds.  Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, color vision, peripheral vision, depth perception, and ability to adjust focus.


Mental and Aptitude Requirements

Ability to remain productive and maintain control under stress.

Ability to collaborate with others in a non-coercive manner.

Ability to analyze and organize systems.

Ability to listen, speak, and write effectively.

Ability to use problem-solving and decision-making skills.


Must look out for the safety and wellbeing of the youth in care by reporting any issues of abuse or neglect suspected at any time to your immediate supervisor, Regional Director of Quality Assurance, and to the DFPS Hotline at 1-800-252-5400.

This job description in no way implies that the duties listed here are the only ones the employee will be required to perform. The employee may be expected to perform other tasks, projects, and training as requested by his or her supervisor. 


The process of becoming a House Parent/Respite Caregiver with THE REFUGE for DMST typically lasts between three and six months and includes these steps:

Certification Process
1.Participate in an informational orientation.

2.Submit a complete application and other documentation.

3.Complete the required on line trainings through DFPS website and print certificate and submit to Executive Director upon completion.

4.Participate in a home study.

5.Receive approval to be a verified house parent.

6.Must be at least 25 years of age.

7.Child Abuse Registry Check/Fingerprints – To be completed on all applicable household residents.

8.Employer – For each employed parent.

9.Safety Audit of the Home – To be completed by Executive Director or Family Resource Manager.

10.References – To be obtained before training process.

11.PRIDE Training – To receive a total of 35 hours required as well as information regarding the training schedule by the Executive Director.

12.First Aid, CPR and Blood-Born Pathogens Training – If currently certified in any of these areas, submit copies of your certification card.

13.Medical Clearance – Must be obtained for all household residents.

14.Budget form must be submitted with entire packet before starting PRIDE training.

15.Domestic Violence check on current address through police department.

THE REFUGE for DMST understands that the commitment to foster a child comes with great rewards — and great challenges.
•Respite caregiver relief

•Specialized trauma-informed training and 24-hour crisis intervention

•In-home support with support staff

To be considered for House Parent Certification with THE REFUGE for DMST.
We want to hear from you! The first step to becoming a house parent with THE REFUGE for DMST is to participate in an informational orientation.
Informational orientations are available throughout the Greater Austin area. Registration is required to attend.




TO APPLY: please send resume and cover letter to