Services & Child-Care Program
The children who reside at Bluebonnet come from a variety of backgrounds. The youth we serve come from environments lacking in familial support, economic stability, effective parenting and education. Approximately 75% of the children are referred to Bluebonnet from the DFPS and the remaining 25% come from private sources. These kids have suffered serious abuse and neglect and have been removed from their homes for their safety and well-being. Due to the unhealthy emotional environments and psychological trauma these children have endured, emotional issues and minor behavioral problems are common and require counseling or therapy in a residential setting.
Bluebonnet’s ultimate goal is to provide a life as normal as possible for the children, and eventually find permanency for them through reunification with their families or placement in loving foster or adoptive homes. BYR is committed to its child-care program, which consists of developing a plan of service that addresses each child’s individual needs, as well as the strategies and services provided to meet those specific needs. Goals and objectives are also identified and incorporated into the service plan.
BYR provides treatment services as needed, but the heart of the operation is the family-structured environment provided in the individual cottages on the property where these kids are loved and cared for. Through the facility’s residential program, up to ten children live together as an active family unit with the well-trained, married couple that serve as the houseparents. Each cottage has its own set of permanent houseparents that develop the family structure within the home. The children participate in normal living activities such as home life, citizenship, work, household chores, recreation and study. The children learn to accept other responsibilities as each child shares in caring for the Ranch animals and garden. In addition, the youth learn coping skills and positive ways to manage their behaviors.
The children are enrolled in the public school system (Yoakum I.S.D.) or St. Joseph Parochial School, and are encouraged to participate in extracurricular activities such as sports, band, Little League, FFA and 4-H. Bluebonnet requires its residents to attend Sunday services at the church of the denomination listed on their application. The youth are involved in activities such as Vacation Bible School, church and summer camps, retreats, etc.
BYR has experienced a high success rate in regards to paving a road of opportunity for the children. Many of these children have gone into the military service, several were adopted, others are now married and have families of their own, and a number of children have attended college. The remaining children were returned to parents or other family members upon completion of the required counseling and training classes.
Since Bluebonnet is set up as a long-term placement and care is provided through high school age, several of the youth graduate while residents of the Ranch. Plans are always made to further their education and assist each child in establishing a career for themselves. The Ranch assists any child who wants to go on to college by continuing both financial and counseling support.
Bluebonnet Youth Ranch
Bluebonnet Youth Ranch
4652 US-77 ALT
Yoakum, TX 77995
Bluebonnet Youth Ranch
4652 US Hwy 77A South
Yoakum, Texas 77995
Direct Care Staff
Direct care staff is responsible for providing an environment of consistent structure, guidance, and care in the home on a live-in basis, and for implementing the facility’s structured childcare program.
Each cottage has a live-in couple serving as houseparents for the children residing in that cottage. BYR maintains a 1 to 8 staff to child ratio (1 to 4 ratio for children under 5 years of age) at all times.
Houseparents work 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, with 1 week off every month, during which time the relief houseparents are on duty in the cottage. The monthly schedule is maintained and distributed by the administrator.
In supervising the children, houseparent responsibilities include being aware of and accountable for each child’s activities, providing the level of supervision necessary to ensure each child’s safety and well-being, including auditory and/or visual awareness of each child’s activities, and intervening when necessary to ensure each child’s safety.
In deciding how closely to supervise a child, houseparents take into account the child’s age, individual differences and abilities, as well as their physical, mental, emotional, and social needs. The indoor and outdoor layout of the operation, and surrounding circumstances, hazards, and risks are also taken into consideration.
Direct care staff must be aware of children’s habits, interests, and special needs; cultivate developmentally appropriate independence in children through planned but flexible program activities; and positively reinforce children’s efforts and accomplishments. Houseparents also ensure continuity of care for children by sharing with incoming caregivers information about each child and any verbal or written information provided by caseworkers or other professionals.
Food & Nutrition
Bluebonnet Youth Ranch provides a quality food service program, supplying nutrients needed for normal growth and development. In accordance with the “Daily Food Guide” established by the United Sates Department of Agriculture, BYR offers three well-balanced meals and daily scheduled snacks to meet the nutritional needs of its residents.
Plan of Service Components
Bluebonnet Youth Ranch develops a “service plan” for each resident that addresses individual needs, as well as the strategies and services provided to meet those specific needs. Service plans identify the resident’s social, emotional, psychological, behavioral, educational, vocational, recreational, medical, travel, supervision, and developmental needs, as well as how each of these needs will be addressed.
Children need good role models, behavior modification built on their strengths, consistency in rule setting and enforcement, and a structured environment. Bluebonnet Youth Ranch will assist children in developing skills for self-control by modeling, then setting limits and parameters for acceptable behavior. Discipline shall be constructive, educational in nature, fair, reasonable, consistent, and appropriate to the child’s age, development, situation, and severity of the misbehavior. Bluebonnet provides one-on-one discussion of expectations and explanation of reasons for any consequence or restrictions.
Bluebonnet Youth Ranch provides for the educational needs of its clients at the level and structure deemed most appropriate for each individual child.
Medical and dental care, including psychiatric care, is provided to all children admitted to BYR.
Mental Health Services
Children who come into the care of Bluebonnet Youth Ranch are generally dealing with anger and confusion, stemming from abuse or neglect in their past. Important aspects of the care provided by BYR are mental health care services, such as counseling, therapy, psychological testing and evaluation. All residents of BYR receive mental health care services on a regular basis.
Bluebonnet’s therapeutic activity program is an integral part of the overall treatment plan for the individual child.
Bluebonnet strives to instill in each child a respect for hard work and a sense of responsibility through daily chores and upkeep of the “home”.
The Bluebonnet organization honors and respects the beliefs, language, interpersonal styles, and values of every individual’s cultural background.
Bluebonnet Youth Ranch is a non-sectarian Christian institution. BYR strives to ensure that each child has the opportunity to have a personal relationship within the framework of that child’s own denominational beliefs.