BY CHAD PARKER
Executive Director of Residential Services
Tupelo Children’s Mansion
On Wednesday, May 13, the houseparents of TCM Residential Services gathered at the Tupelo Country Club for a day of training, fun, and fellowship…and, of course, food. The training included presentations and group discussions that offered fresh and relevant approaches to houseparenting.
The group was blessed by the Word in a devotion given by Annette Manuel, Haven of Hope Supervisor. Kenneth Burton, Vice President of TCM, presented the history, mission, and purpose of TCM along with some important budget information. Prior to lunch, Margo Burton and Kathryn Slagle tag-teamed about the dual role of houseparents, the ministry and the job. This proved to be the most important session of the day.
The houseparents then split up according to their residence hall assignments, and were given case vignettes in which they were to discuss their assessment of the given situation, and what they would do to help remedy the issue at hand. This was enjoyable, but very thought-provoking and challenging.
After a nice buffet lunch, the meeting began with Jennifer Lawrence, Assistant Director of Education, giving insight into the relationship between houseparents and their children’s teachers. Houseparents were given time for a Q&A session with her after her presentation. To end the day, Chad Parker, Executive Director of Residential Services, talked to the houseparents about boundaries, emotional attachments, and avoiding burn-out.
Lots of laughs were shared, many tears were shed, and all were reminded of the great calling God has placed on their lives during this training. We are so thankful to have such an amazing team!