A Day in the Life of a Goshen Valley House Parent

Have you ever wondered what it’s like to be a house parent? It’s something a lot of people who support Goshen Valley are curious about, but often times, they don’t want to offend anyone by asking…

While culture and society may paint a picture that a day in the life of a foster parent includes a life solely devoted to cooking and cleaning, the reality is completely different. Just like traditional parenting, being a house parent can be the most challenging job in the world, but it is also the most rewarding. Our house parents get to experience the thrill of seeing young men grow and develop into young adults ready to embark on their own.

A Day in the Life of a Goshen Valley House Parent

Andy & Susan Forde have served as house parents for just over 3 years. The way they love our young men and help guide them through such a crucial stage in their life is incredibly inspirational. Today, Andy shares what a typical “day in the life” of a house parent at Goshen Valley is like:

“If you’ve ever considered going into mission’s work of some sort, you owe it to yourself to consider House-parenting. Who knew? You get a chance to work with some pretty great kids, change lives forever, build relationships that will last many, many years and go to bed at night knowing you’ve made a difference. That’s what Susan and I do on a daily basis….

Not that it’s all a bed of roses but like life itself, it is what you make of it. There are days on end that you’re faced with disappointment after disappointment. Just when you’re about to make a break-through, some kid will do something that makes you want to throw in the towel and give up. Then when you sit down to discuss the situation with the child, he or she tells you a story, a story from their past. A story that you never dreamed any child should have to tell. It’s those times that you realize why it is that you do what you do.

So many times it’s not what you say that counts. It’s just that you care enough to listen. We’re called to carry one another’s burdens. It’s what we do, and I can’t imagine doing anything else.”

One of the things we always say around the Ranch is that Goshen Valley is only as strong as the community that surrounds it… But that statement is especially true of the incredible men and women who have devoted their lives to being house parents. These couples stand on the front lines of the fight to help our young men change their stories from a life of burden to a life of blessing. They work long and hard, navigating a path that is often filled with obstacles that would stop a less determined person. It is the nature of their jobs and the character that marks their personalities.


Thank you to all the incredible house parents who serve our young men so well at Goshen Valley:

  • Chuck & Cindy Russell

  • Andy & Susan Forde

  • Chad & Morgan Kirk

  • Don & Karen Baines

  • Joshua & Julie Voyles


And our respite house parents:

  • Edd & Nancy Frizzell

  • Merrill & Elaine Morris

  • Bill & Olga Lesko