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Frequently Asked Questions
Questions from Families
Questions from Children
Questions from Families:
We have a sliding scale fee, and will work with the child's family or guardians to establish fees for the child's care. Families are asked to help however they can, but no child is turned away if a family cannot pay.
We request a long term placement for children and teens, but there is no requirement. We are a place where children can grow up. Our average length of stay is three years, but many live with us through high school graduation and higher education.
Children live on our main campus in Hockley, Texas, 35 miles northwest of downtown Houston, in cottages with other residents. There are two residents in a room with a private bath. They are raised by trained teaching parents in a family atmosphere.
We enjoy the special relationship that siblings have with each other. We have separate cottages for boys and girls, and for different age groups, so siblings may not always be able to live together and some request to live separately. We will place each child in the best cottage for his or her individual growth. Siblings will be able to spend time together frequently through events and activities, and also visit on the campus or in cottages.
Questions (and Answers) from Children:
You do not have to worry about being active at Boys and Girls Country. If you don’t already know what your skills and interests are, we will give you plenty of opportunities to find out!
We have basketball, volleyball, swimming (there’s a great new pool with a slide), dances, parties (including a special birthday party for you), choir, fishing, music lessons, and more.
We also get tickets for Astros and Rockets games, and other events…we take field trips…and other fun outings.
In the summer, when school is out, we get to work as an apprentice on campus and earn money. We can go to summer camp, mission trips, or take a trip with our cottage. Some of our cottage vacations have been to Disneyworld, the Grand Canyon, the beach, snow skiing in Colorado and camping at state parks.
We also participate in after school and community activities; Boys and Girls Country wants us to get involved in band, soccer, tennis, golf, football, choir, etc. We also go to youth group at our cottage church.
Boys and Girls Country students go to public schools in Waller ISD.
We ride the school bus back and forth from the campus, unless we have permission to stay after school for an extra-curricular activity. If we stay after school, Boys and Girls Country will send someone to give us a ride home. “Pick-up” duty is assigned to a different "teaching parent" each day to complete van runs to the schools for those kids involved in after school activities. This will give you the chance to meet all the teaching parents and single teaching parents. Your teaching parent will explain to you where you should show up to meet the “pick-up” duty van. If you aren't at the designated area at the designated time, you could lose the privilege to stay after school!
Your parent or guardian will receive a copy of your report card each grading period and will be invited, along with your teaching parents, to attend any ARD or special school meetings that are scheduled for you.
Education is very important at Boys and Girls Country. You have to learn to succeed at school or you won’t be able to find the best jobs later on! You will have a study hall each school night in your cottage, and you will be expected to do homework every night. Most kids who come to live with us are one or two grades behind the other kids their age, so we can use individual tutoring and Computer Lab to help us “catch up,” study, and make good grades. All students attend at least once each week. This is your chance to “catch up,” and the staff will help you in any way we can. The Education Director, as well as tutors, are there every night.
At the end of each school year we hold an Awards Banquet where students are recognized for their achievements during the year. You will be allowed to invite two guests of your choice to this special dinner and fun evening. It is a favorite time of the year for all our kids and staff.
The schools in the Waller ISD are:
Grade Level School
Evelyn Turlington Elementary (Kindergarten to 5th grade)
Schultz Middle School (6th to 8th grade)
While it is not possible to make a list of all the “do’s and don’ts,” our basic rules are about safety, common courtesy and consideration for others, and the development of self-discipline. A few are:
- no stealing, which means you cannot take things that belong to others, or borrow the possessions of others without permission.
- no physical violence, which means you cannot hit or hurt yourself, another kid or staff.
- no damaging of property, which means you cannot break, tear up or destroy items or property belonging to others or property belonging to Boys and Girls Country.
- no running away or sneaking off, which means always remaining in the boundaries designated for you while on campus, or when off campus, staying in the supervision of the staff.
- no alcohol, tobacco or drugs, which means you cannot purchase, make, possess or use alcoholic beverages, tobacco in any form, or any substances that could be harmful either physically or emotionally. This includes non-prescription and prescription medications that are not for you. No medications, including vitamins, are to be kept in your room.
- no obscene language or gestures, which means no cussing, vulgar or inappropriate language, or physical gestures intended to embarrass, humiliate or anger another person. This also means you cannot use vulgar language in conversations, letters or have pornography.
- no sexual acting out, which means you cannot touch others in their private areas or allow others to touch you. There are severe laws and penalties we will discuss with you.
We believe in teaching kids to follow the rules, so if you break one, appropriate consequences will be given. Depending on the seriousness of the rule that is broken, the consequence could be an apology, restitution, work hours, a restriction, loss of a privilege, or practicing a skill related to the rule. At Boys and Girls Country we follow the rules too. If any resident commits a serious offense such as a theft, drug violation, runaway or assault, we know they have broken the law and we will notify the police. It does not always mean that kids have to leave, but they have to pay the price for poor choices.
The length of time you stay at Boys and Girls Country depends on you and your family. We talk to you and your family about it when you first arrive and at least twice a year in your Plan of Service meeting.
About half of our residents live here two to three years and then go home or live with a relative. The other half grow up here and graduate from high school. For those who do finish high school here and who join the College and Career program, we help you choose a career that is right for you and make sure you have enough money to attend college or a trade school. We have residents you will meet who are in college now or in the military; they come back to visit us often.
We work with your parent or guardian to be sure you get the training or education you need to get a good job to be able to support yourself. Each step of your future is discussed in your Plan of Service.
As we mentioned previously, we will mail a copy of your report card to your parent or guardian each grading period, and should any ARD or special school meetings be scheduled for you, your parent or guardian will be invited and encouraged to attend. They are also invited and encouraged to attend the Plan of Service conference and will receive a copy of the results twice a year.