#TACFSFoster: The Treehouse Center
“There seems to be a huge misunderstanding about children of all ages in foster care or kids who are 'in the system' and that is that these children are bad...Correction, these kids are not bad; they have had bad things happen to them, they have bad behaviors, they’ve had bad examples to follow... We work to create new GOOD memories, our staff are trained to re-direct behaviors, and they are positive influences who teach the girls life skills they will need as they begin to age out of the foster care system."
Dhelynn McClellan, CATP
The Treehouse Center is a home-y environment in Conroe, TX that strives to create a typical, healthy life for their children. Their goal is to create a “normal” family setting that encourages children to learn appropriate parent-child boundaries and relationships.
All of their caregivers are nurturing mother figures who love and care for their kids and have been adequately trained to direct and assist the girls with their coping skills. They pride themselves on the amount of successful program completions, leading to positive discharges on to foster homes, adoption, and in some cases reunification with a member of the child’s family.
The Treehouse Center is an all women Center down to their office staff, therapists, Clinical Director, and CEO. They do not tolerate yelling or bullying of any kind and crisis prevention institute (CPI) is the absolute last resort that is only used when unquestionably necessary (preventing a kid from harming themselves or another kid). They make sure their girls stay very busy with events and recreational activities so they are able to make positive memories, experience fun and exciting new things that children should have the opportunity to enjoy, and also feel rewarded for good behaviors throughout the week. Each caregiver makes homemade nutritiously balanced meals for the kids when they are home from school and there is always plenty for second helpings (which most of the kids ask for). They always celebrate birthdays and holidays with cake, presents, outings to the park, BBQ, trips to the beach, the movies, and so much more! When the weather isn’t so great the girls may instead go to a museum, the library, or just stay in a have a movie night in the bean bag room with popcorn. They make sure to integrate these fun events with life skills and educational activities.
Some of these children had to grow up fast due to the toxic or neglectful environments they came from and haven’t ever really had the opportunity to enjoy just being a kid so we they strive to make sure the last thing they have to worry about is growing up too fast.
One girl in particular came to the Treehouse Center when she was 11 years old. She originally came from a broken home with deplorable living conditions where she suffered a heartbreaking amount of abuse and neglect. She came to them from a more restrictive placement that was unable to manage her lengthy meltdowns and extreme behaviors. When she initially arrived, she was unable to stay in a classroom for almost any length of time whereas now not only is she able to focus in school, but she is also currently a straight A student who receives praise from her teachers and Student’s Achieving Excellence awards. She successfully completed our program and is going on to be adopted to a forever home.
The Treehouse Center could not be more proud of the amount of positive discharges they have seen over time. They have had the privilege to witness some of our kids leave and proceed to graduate, get married, have kids, and have real families of their own. The Treehouse Center staff loves staying in touch with all the girls in their care after they leave.
The Treehouse Center’s Non-Traditional Take on National Foster Care Month:
“There seems to be a huge misunderstanding about children of all ages in foster care or kids who are “in the system” and that is that these children are bad. I despise hearing the mis-used phrase “bad kids”. Correction, these kids are not bad; they have had bad things happen to them, they have bad behaviors, they’ve had bad examples to follow. The reason group homes, RTCs, therapeutic foster homes, etc., even exist in the first place is to take in children who need help and direction. We work to create new GOOD memories, our staff are trained to re-direct behaviors, and they are positive influences who teach the girls life skills they will need as they begin to age out of the foster care system. I believe sometimes people have this common misconception about who we are and what we do when it comes to our kids and how we operate. I encourage everyone to learn more about foster care, group homes, and RTC’s to have a better understanding of our mission, our goals, and our passion when it comes to these children.”
Dhelynn McClellan, CATP