A Message from the Henna Family

"Since it’s inception, Texas Baptist Childrens Home (TBCH) has been deeply etched in our hearts. It’s mission to care for children in the best physical, emotional, and spiritual ways has always been the goal. We value those who have spent time on the TBCH campus either as children served or as houseparents and staff. We rejoice in the testimonies of those who have benefited and are thankful for those who have felt the call to serve. In fulfilling the mission, the goal has always been and will continue to be excellence. As we honor and cherish our history, we ask God to lead us in the best paths for the future. Though change is hard, we trust God to speak to and direct this ministry. Though the path may look different, 'Children at Heart' remains the same."

Campus News from Debbie Rippstein

Children are at the heart of ALL we do at Texas Baptist Children’s Home (TBCH). With the kids in mind, I want to share exciting news taking place on our campus!

Recent legislative changes have made it difficult to provide the level of care necessary for the children served through campus life. We also know the BEST environment to raise children and give them a hopeful future, is the family unit. Because of this, we are transitioning to a new way of providing care for children and their families - a tremendous blessing for everyone involved. Not only does this keep the family unit together but it helps us impact more lives and provide a brighter future for all involved.

This transition is a transformation into a new way of honoring the family, providing quality care, interacting with our community, and implementing best practices that facilitate an effective transition toward family support services that prevent unnecessary family-child separation. You are a key partner in this transformation.

From the day our residents arrive, they become part of the TBCH family. We never lose sight of our sacred responsibility to protect and care for them as we make all our decisions.

The Family Care Program at TBCH has provided a safe haven for single mothers and their children since 1979.

The family-focused difference does more than provide safety, shelter, and meals. Each family receives individualized comprehensive care – physical, educational, spiritual, and emotional. It’s a place where mothers and their children can heal from their past and transition into successful, independent futures. But most importantly, the family stays together.

By modifying our campus solely to the Family Care model, we will accomplish the following:

  • Address the greater need
  • Serve more children
  • Transform the lives of 2 generations at once
  • Keep children safe without the trauma of separation from their parent
  • Create an opportunity to work with children at a much younger age
  • Increase the number of families we serve while still being able to serve children without a family structure through a new host home program
  • Provide enhanced counseling services for mothers, children, and families
  • Allow greater flexibility as we plan for our long-term future
  • Address the changing dynamics of our society

Our Family Care residential program has an overall capacity to serve 50 families and 100 children in a group setting with resident staff supervision and role modeling of appropriate living skills. Mothers are able to take advantage of a healthy environment that is conducive to growth for the individual and family unit as the mother works toward self-sufficiency, learning the skills needed to obtain and maintain a stable home, job, and income.

As mentioned above, we are not forgetting about children without a family structure. At the heart of every transition process is an individualized approach to working with children and families, with the goal of supporting each child’s placement in a family that can best meet his or her needs. We are implementing a new host home program through a partnership with STARRY, allowing us to place up to 12 children annually when situations arise and this program is deemed the best solution. Host homes are licensed Foster Homes and this solution will provide added normalcy for children in a home setting.

The process of transitioning from Campus Life to Family Care is rooted in an understanding that children grow best in families and we are very excited to begin this new chapter together.

I realize that you may have questions about this transition and welcome an opportunity to talk with you in more detail. I can be reached at 512-255-3682 or debbie.rippstein@tbch.org. Also available are Melanie Martinez, melanie.martinez@tbch.org or David Gillian, david.gillian@tbch.org, both also reachable at the number above.

On behalf of all of the children and mothers in our care, thank you for your prayers and support during this transition.


Debbie Rippstein, MA, LPC