Christ’s Haven acts as an environment where children and teens that have suffered past trauma are afforded basic care in order to grow physically and emotionally. Every child is cared for in their own individual home, and inside each home are a set of house parents, Christ’s Haven CEO Cassie McQuitty said.
“When this all started happening, we were able to respond like other families in the community,” McQuitty said. “We have some house parents homeschooling eight kids in a house all day long, and we are thankful Keller ISD has been able to help us with technology and electronic learning through lessons teachers are supplying.”
Each home at Christ’s Haven is equipped with laptops, and house parents are on shuffled schedules. To coincide with stay-at-home orders issued in Keller and Tarrant County, the Christ’s Haven campus is currently closed, and administrative staff are working remotely, McQuitty said.
Staff parents are utilizing virtual tutoring, and case managers and counselors are still scheduling appointments. The main priority for the organization remains providing normalcy, safety and stability for the kids, she said.
“We keep talking about how unprecedented this is, but the truth is, at Christ’s Haven, this isn’t that abnormal,” McQuitty said. “All of our kids come from food insecure and stressful environments. The amazing thing we get to do is show them how healthy families and communities respond in a crisis.”
The biggest struggle currently facing the organization is funding in the short and long term. Due to uncertainty for many foundations and corporations, funding is down, and some grants have not been issued, McQuitty said.
Stressful times are also when child abuse cases increase, she said, because places where child abuse would normally be identified, such as at school or during a regular doctors visit, are closed.
“It is more important for us as a community to know the resources out there,” McQuitty said. “The reality is we are stepping up our service. There are families out there that need us, that know this is a stressful time and that can reach out to us for help.”