Georgia Teenworks at Goshen Valley

Georgia TeenWorks program giving Georgia's foster youth at Goshen a boost for success.


TeenWorks is a program run by the state where foster youth age 16-18 get to gain valuable work experience. While these teens are supervised and trained by a local employer, they are paid by Georgia. This allows foster youth to gain work experience and build both their resumes and their potential career pathways. 

We interviewed two of these Goshen youth who spent this summer working at the Boys & Girls Club and R&D Mechanical Services

Edward had the opportunity to work for the Malon D. Mims Boys & Girls Cub this summer.  Edward, says, “They provide an introduction to the workforce. It has helped me prepare and save for college, while also learning several new skills. I learned how to interact with my boss and be respectful. It bettered my relationships and made me more efficient in helping me save for college.”

Tyler says the best part of Teenworks this year for him was, “getting to work with R&D Mechanical. I got to learn a lot and had new options open up for my future that I never would have known about.” He says to R&D, “Thank you for letting me work with you this summer, and giving me the opportunity to create a new life goal… I know I’ve got the knowledge and skill set to start a career in HVAC.”

It’s this kind of forward-thinking and education that will help foster youth at Goshen grow to be successful young adults as they grow out of our care. We are not only looking to better these kid’s present situation, but also their future. 

Both boys had parting messages for their employers and for the TeenWorks program. Edward says, “TeenWorks taught me to save my money for the things I want, and the things I will soon be held responsible for as an adult. Learning how to save and manage my money will be crucial when going through the medical school process and managing finances for the rest of my life.” Tyler Woody said “Thank you for letting me work with you this summer, and giving me the opportunity to create a new life goal.”

We are so proud of our youth and thankful for our employment partners who set our teenage youth up for lifelong thriving success!

Eagle Scout Project- New Ranch Signage!


Last fall, the Barnfield family came to serve at Goshen Valley Boys Ranch through Woodstock City Church’s “Be Rich” campaign. They all were inspired by their day of service. Just as we always hope, they became interested in getting more involved.

A few months later, Connor Barnfield began planning his Eagle Scout project. He decided to help out Goshen Valley, and through discussions with Zach, he decided to create new signage for the Ranch. This has been a significant need for Goshen Valley over the past several years, but with limited manpower and funding, it had not yet happened.

We expected something along the lines of plywood signs with painted logos and directions. Connor decided to take this project to a far greater level of excellence. He researched the best materials to use and found a highly resistant polycarbonate structure that will last much longer than wood. He found a CNC Router to engrave our logos and writings with perfection. Connor and his family then took hours detailing and painting the engravings to look phenomenal on the white signs.

On Saturday, Connor brought his family and 14 additional volunteers to the Ranch. We worked for six hours installing seven signs all around the Ranch. Connor even came back on Sunday to touch up a few spots and install an improved border on the entrance sign.

This is not the first Eagle Scout project to take place on the Ranch, and with several other aspiring Eagle Scout’s in attendance serving Saturday we are excited to welcome more going forward!

Goshen Valley is incredibly thankful for the excellent signs made by Connor Barnfield for his Eagle Scout project. Thank you to Woodstock City Church, The Boy Scouts, all of the volunteers involved, Tony and Missy Barnfield, and most of all to Connor Barnfield for the excellent work. Goshen is better because of people like you.

Goshen Graduates- Defying the Odds

  • The statistics show that only 50% of youth in foster care will receive a high school diploma.
  • Only 10% of former foster youth will attend college.

Graduating high school is an accomplishment to be celebrated for any teenager, but especially for youth in foster care. We want to highlight the youth in our care that have achieved this great milestone while being away from their parents and family support. We are extremely proud of each of them and the next steps they are making! Each graduate is attending college and continuing to grow with peace and purpose.

Your investment into Goshen Valley has made a way for these young people to succeed. Every gift given was utilized to surround them with the safety of a home, love of a family and hope for the future. We hope you enjoy seeing the fruits of your support!

If you would like to participate in the $50 for 5 campaign you can give a special gift in honor of our graduates below:

Fishing Rodeo

We had an incredible time at the Fishing Rodeo on Saturday! First Baptist Church of Woodstock, Renesant Bank, and Allstar Financial Group led the charge on an incredible outing for our boys. “The event was great! The boys caught over 380 fish!” says Donald Rampley. "It was exciting to see some of these young men catch a fish for the first time."

The fishing rodeo took place in Rockmart, Georgia at a private lake owned by Allstar Financial Group. There were multiple stations where groups of our boys rotated throughout the day. Adult volunteers from FBCW guided our boys at each station, ensuring each one had a great time and caught as many fish as possible.

“Every boy at the Ranch caught a fish, the volunteers made sure of it,” says Scott Gaither, house parent supervisor at the Ranch. “The event is one of the highlights of the year! Last year was great, but this year was even better!

One of our boys who had never been fishing before absolutely loved the experience. “It was the first time I ever went fishing, and I caught six fish!” He now has a new fishing pole and is excited to try again soon.

The fishing rodeo was an incredible day for our boys, and we are very grateful for everyone who played a role in making it happen!

An Interview with Stacy Cooper

Stacy Cooper is the executive director of the Goshen Valley Boys Ranch. She describes her role as “overseeing the quality of care, operations, and safety of both the boys and our staff.” She has been with Goshen for over three years and has done incredible work in advancing care for our boys as well as staff longevity and satisfaction.

I asked Stacy what she loved most about working at Goshen. She gave two answers that would not surprise anyone who has seen her passionate endeavors at the Ranch. First she said “getting to know the staff and serving in ministry together.” We would be hard pressed to find any Ranch employees who have not felt the deep love and intentional care Stacy gives freely to her staff. Her second answer is even more obvious, and 46 boys could attest to it each day. “Of course the boys. They are absolutely precious.” When asked about her favorite aspect of working with the boys, Stacy elaborated that she loves being with them when things are not going well. “You can come out of it with a deeper relationship and show them that even when things are bad you will be there for them.” This mindset and practice is profoundly powerful for youth who have found themselves in foster care.

I then asked Stacy about her favorite memory during the past three years at Goshen. It was obvious that her mind was filled with story after story of love and transformation; Peace and Purpose changing the heart and direction of so many youth. She said that she absolutely loves seeing a boy exceed in ways that others would have thought impossible. She told of a boy she interviewed on his first day at Goshen. He was overly anxious and kept apologizing. He couldn’t look anyone in the eye or sit still. He asked what kind of clothes hangers we used at the Ranch. Stacy felt an immediate connection with this boy, and through the years she has watched him transform.

“He had never felt free at home. One day I saw him running laps around the football field, and every time he passed by he excitedly said ‘Hey Mrs. Stacy!’ He learned how to ride a bike at the Ranch at age 13. Everything was so new to him. He saw the world open up. He even got a girlfriend.” Stacy says he brought a note from her home and was so excited to share the good news with her. Last year he went to a Braves game and rode with Stacy and two other staff members. She said that in his sleep deprived state at 1:30 he was “goofing off, laughing, singing, and laying his head on my shoulder. This is a level of freedom he never knew before arriving at Goshen. He thinks of the Ranch as his family, and here he has experienced the world and grown up so much.”

The love and acceptance Stacy gives so freely have impacted the lives of so many youth and will continue to do so for years to come. We cannot thank Stacy enough for the work she does every day serving both our staff and the youth in care at Goshen Valley Boys Ranch.

New Beginnings takes Savannah thanks to United Way funding

One way that Goshen Valley has partnered with the United Way is by participating in a collaborative as a Pathway Partner around Opportunity Youth. We have joined together with other community organizations to collaborate and establish pathways that integrate learning and work experiences which support and facilitate post-secondary education and career opportunities for at-risk and disconnected youth ages 16 to 24. The other collaborative organizations we are currently partnered with include Goodwill of North Georgia, Year Up, Carrie Steele Pitts Home, GA State University and Kennesaw State University.

Through the Atlanta Opportunity Youth Summer Innovation Grant, our New Beginnings youth were given the opportunity to journey to Savannah to learn about the challenges and triumphs of a community outside of their own.


  Our team visited and volunteered at Second Harvest food pantry to learn how the organization served the community in collaboration with other local organizations such as Lighthouse Ministry.




At Lighthouse Ministry, Program Director Giselle Espinal-Francis describes the experience,

"Our youth had so many great moments but one that stood out the most was when all the youth walked into Lighthouse Ministries, not realizing that none of the expected volunteers showed up. There was a line around the building of hungry babies and mother waiting to feed their families and get assistance. We were greeted by Ms. Linda, who shared that they were going to have to serve over 60 families without volunteers until we showed up. Our youth were able to help toddlers pick toys and clothing, while others were able to give hugs and smiles at the doors and they even witnessed a baptism. One of our youth named Janesha, was given the task of checking in the families for the clothing closet. When she left, she was so touched at how appreciative everyone was for the services they received that day. She left with a smile and thanked us for making all this possible."


The youth got the opportunity to visit Tybee Beach. For many of them, not only was this their first time outside of the Atlanta area, but the firs time to see the ocean. Sierra Tabor, Residential Life Coach, reflected on the experience,

"The look on their faces was priceless. Just to know that I was able to share that moment with them was something I'll never forget."


Youth also visited Greenbriar Children's Home to learn about how youth their age, in a similar circumstance, lived within a different program. The team went to First African Baptist Church, the oldest African American church in the United States.

In order to make the fullest impact, New Beginnings also held a "Home Trip." During this day, our youth visited a local food pantry to learn the similarities and differences between the one in Savannah and one at home. They also met with pastor Keith Norman of the Factory to discuss cultural and ethnic challenges that face our community today as a reflection on their visit to First African Baptist Church.

As a result of the trip, New Beginnings youth would like to start a toiletry pantry to assist struggling or homeless youth. Their eyes were opened to both the challenges and opportunities in a community beyond their own, and they were invited to take part in the solution. Thank you to the United Way for giving our youth a chance to learn, grow and change!

Hiring! Job Description: Case Manager

Goshen Valley Boys Ranch Case Management Position Available:


Goshen Valley Boys Ranch in Waleska, GA is currently seeking a Case Manager. This is an opportunity to engage with youth ages 8-18 to be an advocate and positive example. The position requires the following:

  • A Bachelor's Degree in a related field + 2 years work experience in social services or serving youth.
  • A high level of organization
  • Excellent writing skills
  • The ability to speak professionally on behalf of our youth in a courtroom setting
  • A person of good character

Salary is dependent on education and experience. Benefits include health insurance (including dental and vision), a 401k and serving with a team who loves our boys and each other!


Hiring! Job Description: Administrative Assistant

Job Title:  Administrative Assistant

Reports to:  Administrative Director and CEO

Requirements: Familiar with managing technology platforms such as Salesforce, Mailchimp, Google Drive and proficient in Microsoft Word, Excel and Power Point. Must be organized, efficient and maintain good communication skills. Must be of good character and supportive of the programs, policies and the ideals of Goshen Valley.


  • Salesforce donor data entry and management
  • Donor thank-you letters
  • Development mailers and tasks
  • Database management for various stakeholder groups
  • Extended Reach transition support
  • General HR tasks and record keeping
  • General Foundation-level tasks and communication
  • Office management



Mandela Washington Fellowship Visits Goshen Valley

America’s eyes have been locked in on St. Louis, Minnesota, and Dallas these past weeks – and rightly so. We cannot turn a blind eye to all that has taken place. This does not mean, however, that we must ignore the good and the beautiful taking place around us. Something incredibly good and beautiful happened Saturday July 9 in Waleska, Georgia.Movie Rings (2017)


The Mandela Washington Fellows (MWF) program was founded by President Obama in 2014. This year, MWF selected 200 young African leaders age 25-35 to come and learn at American universities for six weeks. They will then spend three days in Washington D.C. – including a town hall meeting with the Obamas. 25 of these young leaders are studying at Georgia State University, and on Saturday July 9, they visited Goshen Valley Boys Ranch.


The Goshen Valley Foundation is ranked as Georgia’s top child caring institution. Goshen Valley Boys Ranch (the Ranch) houses 46 boys in foster care. A few individuals leading the MWF group in Atlanta, namely Dr. Sharon Hill, long time advocate of Goshen Valley and previous Deputy Director of the Division of Family and Children Services (DFCS), reached out to Goshen Valley about hosting the Atlanta MWF group for a day. We accepted with great pleasure.


Our day began with an informational meeting. Our Founder, John Blend, as well as two of our directors, Stacy Cooper and Giselle Espinal-Francis, shared about our history, stories, practices, and financial details. The MWF participants were equipped with data, audits, and resources to improve orphan care and other non-profit industries in their home countries.


The informational meeting led to a true southern lunch provided by Bub-Ba-Q. We then took a hayride tour of the Ranch and visited two homes on our property. Then began one of the most beautiful sights I have ever seen.


There exists a plethora of pictures featuring white Americans playing with African kids during a mission trip. Saturday at Goshen Valley I saw the roles reversed. A group of African leaders came to Waleska, GA and played soccer with our kids in foster care.


During their time together I witnessed some beautiful interactions. I saw children who, rather than being focused on our differences, were filled with curiosity about our guests. They did not want to debate; they just wanted to be friends and show off their clean rooms and soccer skills. They asked our guests questions such as “What is it like to travel to a different country?” and, “What has surprised you about America?” and, “You’re from Madagascar? Have you seen the movie?”


Maybe this country would be better off if we were all a bit more like children. Maybe we need to prioritize what we have in common rather than letting our differences separate us. Maybe I need to ask more questions instead of giving better answers. Maybe we need to play more soccer and have fewer arguments.


And maybe I need to watch Madagascar and see what that country is all about.

– Evan Ingram, Residential Life, Goshen Valley Boys Ranch




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“Goshen Valley has reminded me of the love that can heal broken souls and strengthened my resolve to make a change back home in Nigeria.” – Dr. Matilda Kerry Osazuwa, Founder – George Kerry Life Foundation


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“I was talking to one of the fellows about his experience. He said, ‘In much of our time here, Americans seem very individualistic and isolated. Visiting Goshen Valley has been the best part of our visit. You aren’t like that here. This place feels like a family.'” – Anthony Hall, Life Coach, reflecting on a personal conversation

Click for information on the Young African Leaders Institute.


Job Description: Lead Therapeutic Case Manager (Goshen Homes)

JOB TITLE:  Lead Therapeutic Case Manager


REPORTS TO:  Executive Director


JOB FUNCTION:  The Goshen Homes Lead Therapeutic Case Manager will be responsible for the direct supervision of up to 5 Therapeutic Case Managers.  The Lead TCM carries a partial caseload and assumes additional responsibilities as needed in the areas of church recruitment and relationships, volunteer management, and training coordination.  

Core Responsibilities and Expectations

  • Abides by all agency policies and procedures, core values
  • Maintains confidentiality of client’s and agency information
  • Seeks clarification from their manager in areas of uncertainty
  • Displays integrity and honesty in all situations
  • Abides by professional code of ethics and licensing standards
  • Serves as an appropriate role model for children, families and staff by demonstrating Christ-like behaviors in all settings
  • Demonstrates and promotes an image that is consistent with agency mission and values
  • Maintains professional boundaries
  • Effectively practices self-care
  • Manages time effectively
  • Believes in every individual’s capacity to make positive change
  • Maintains a flexible work schedule to meet ministry needs
  • Participates in Goshen events as needed
  • Demonstrates dependability by being punctual to work, meetings, and appointments
  • Requests PTO and/or flex time from their direct supervisor and obtains prior approval
  • Does not take PTO and/or flex time unless their job duties are covered and/or completed
  • Provides maximum span of control of five case managers and 75-80 foster children
  • Review and approve case management documents and assure that documentation is completed accurately and timely
  • Review and maintain PBC contracting scores with a goal of remaining at a level A agency status
  • Participates in on-call rotation as needed
  • Monitors required CEU’s for case managers and enters/approves trainings
  • Monitor all site visits with state regulatory officials in collaboration with the Executive Director
  • Manages all critical incidents & reporting to state OPM/RCC/CPS investigations, etc. in collaboration with the Executive Director
  • Participates in the PQI and Risk Management process
  • Coordinate the activity of casemanagers with ultimate responsibility for the quality and stability of services including but not limited to:
    • Ensures children and families receive timely and appropriate services such as medical, dental, educational, mental health, social and behavioral
    • Is an active advocate for children and families
    • Supports a goal that has children and families best interest at all times
    • Maintains and abides by all court orders
    • Monitors the need for and facilitates discharge planning when appropriate
    • Assists and supports permanency planning for children who are unable to be reunified
    • Supports birth family relationships as appropriate
    • Coordination of visitation with birth family
    • Provide 24/7 care as needed to meet foster children and foster family needs
    • Provides post-placement & pre-placement visits with foster families to promote optimum utilization
    • Works and collaborates with individuals including DFCS, CMS, GAL, child attorneys, service providers, etc. on their cases to move them toward permanency
  • Evaluates performance of family consultants, completes 360 feedbacks, 90 day and annual evaluations
  • Provide for dissemination of information to case manger’s in collaboration with other developments within the county DFCS and the child protective service field and changes within the state of Georgia’s child welfare environment
  • Collaborate with Home Study Team regarding new family approval, home compliance, and on-hold status of families
  • Assign new families to foster family case manager’s and manage utilization of caseloads
  • Collaborates with Placement Team and referral/intake to make placement and clinical matching decisions
  • Manage budget line items for case manager’s and approve spending as needed
  • Recognizes the intrinsic worth in all families and children and provides equal service to all
  • Maintains sensitivity to issues of race, religion, culture, ethnicity and other issues of diversity
  • Seeks solutions to problems and accepts feedback from others
  • Accepts constructive criticism and works on strengthening areas that need improvement
  • Maintains a positive attitude
  • Exhibits high emotional intelligence and can effectively engage others in various situations
  • Maintains timely communication with others
  • Treats clients, staff, foster parents and external contacts with respect and dignity
  • Contributes toward a team oriented culture and works well with others
  • Provides regular clinical supervision to family case manager’s and supervision documentation
  • Coordinates and/or participates in court hearings, family team meetings, home visits, panel reviews, birth family contacts, educational advocacy, permanency round tables, clinical staffing’s and other meetings as needed
  • Communicates with home study team any foster home licensing needs, concerns, changes, and ministry re-engagement plans
  • Communicates with all service providers regarding progress and direction of case as appropriate
  • Works with case manager’s and foster parents to prevent placement disruptions
  • Understands and supports family systems
  • Utilizes clinical and consulting skills to provide coaching and support to case managers
  • Ability to teach case manager’s to recognize a client for self-harm/suicide/homicide risk and make appropriate referrals
  • Demonstrates an ability to teach case manager’s to have a working knowledge of trauma and how that impacts the children and families served.
  • Demonstrates authentic, honest and effective communication skills
  • Ability to teach case manager’s to intervene and provide clinical skills, crisis intervention, and mediation
  • Ability to teach case manager’s de-escalation techniques
  • Represents Goshen in the targeted geography and maintain DFCS county relationships through partnership meetings
  • Promotes culture of team-work, collaboration through intentional efforts/activities
  • Conducts routine team meetings & other opportunities for team building & mission/ministry focus discussions
  • Collaborates with church partners to maintain good working relationships
  • Participates in Community Partner meetings and provides education regarding ministry & collaboration efforts
  • Provides crisis management/mediation when issues arise with foster families, case manager’s, and church partners
  • Effectively meets deadlines
  • Ensures accuracy of all records, reports and documentation
  • Completes documentation accurately, thoroughly and timely in compliance with program standards and regulations
  • Maintains organized files
  • Displays a strong discernment and decision making skills
  • Displays effective, clear, concise writing skills
  • Reports to management any events that impact safety, permanency and well-being of children and families
  • Assists with conflict and crisis in a professional manner
  • Demonstrates ability to navigate high stress situations and conflict using emotional and spiritual maturity
  • Works diligently to be well-informed regarding case management performance and relationships with clients/church partners
  • Advocates strongly on issues that are important to the child’s well-being, safety and permanency
  • Demonstrates an ability to positively navigate transition and change and models flexibility for others
  • Provide direct services to foster families, foster children and their biological families as needed when case managers need coverage
  • Participate in the sourcing, recruiting, and hiring of case managers
  • On-boards and trains new case manager’s and other Goshen staff as it relates to the field team operations
  • Manages on-call rotation for case managers after hours line
  • Provides 24/7 support on call to case manager’s and the on-call foster family after hours line
  • Actively engaged in a local church
  • Communicates prayer requests to Goshen team for families and clients
  • Encourages spiritual growth in co-workers and contributes toward a Christ-centered culture
  • Abides by church partner agreements
  • Completes all continuing education requirements and all required trainings
  • Demonstrates inner drive, discipline, self-motivation,
  • Demonstrates innovation and creativity to accomplish the mission
  • Completes other duties as assigned
  • Utilizes forward thinking and displays the ability to plan and think strategically


EQUIPMENT USED: Personal vehicle & cell phone, copy machine, fax, computer




Education and Experience: Master’s Degree in Human Services Field (i.e., Social Work, Psychology, Behavioral Science, Counseling, Ministry/Theology, or other related degree). Clinical Experience: Strong clinical knowledge, particularly in the areas of childhood trauma, family-systems, substance abuse. Strong coaching/counseling and crisis intervention skills. Experience with GA Score and Shines preferred, but not required. Georgia RBWO Foundations Certified or waiver eligible is beneficial, but not required.


Skill Requirements: Strong interpersonal skills, maturity and sensitivity to cultural and individual differences in clients, staff, foster parents and families served.  Effective oral and written communication skills.  Ability to work within a treatment team.  Ability to handle job related matters in a professional, diplomatic and confidential manner.  Knowledge of community resources and services.  Ability to organize and execute responsibilities in an independent manner.  Possesses the spiritual gift of discernment.  


Physical Requirements: Hearing and speaking ability which allows for effective oral communication of information.  Ability to physically transport self and clients to various locations.  Physical and emotional stamina to effectively handle job related issues and stress.  Flexibility to offer 24/7 support to families and accomplish tasks as needed after normal business hours.