LEBANON, Ind. – The Indiana United Methodist Children’s Home Board of Trustees made the commitment to implement a new and innovative way of caring for youth called the Teaching Family Model. The model is evidence-based and teaches youth social, academic and independent living skills. Family Teachers model Christian, family and personal values in a home-like environment.

The American Psychological Association has recognized the Teaching Family Model as an evidence-based model of care. In addition, a report by the Surgeon General of the United States identified the model as one of the two major models of therapeutic group home care. Once youth have received treatment through the model, the majority have fewer contacts with juvenile courts, they stay in school, make better grades, find employment and have a better chance of being productive members of society.

According to Rich Lapinski, Executive Director/CEO of the Home, “The Teaching Family Model gives hope to abused and neglected youth. We emphasize that they can improve the quality of their lives and make positive contributions to society.” He added, “The Family Teachers are crucial to the success of the program.”

Lapinski knows firsthand the importance of the Family Teachers. He and his wife Stephanie served as Family Teachers at Father Flanagan’s Boys Town in Omaha, Neb. He also implemented the Teaching Family Model at the Presbyterian Children’s Home in Amarillo, Texas, during his tenure there.

“The Family Teachers help facilitate and accelerate family reunification by teaching ways to interact successfully with adults and other youth in their schools, communities and homes. The Family Teachers work closely with parents, therapists, probation officers and case managers to access their satisfaction with services,” said Lapinski.

In order to implement the Teaching Family Model, four new 6,500-square-foot homes have been constructed on the Home’s 17-acre campus in Lebanon. Eight youth will live in each home with the Family Teachers (married couples) and their assistants.

“We have gone to a less institutional way of caring for children by building these beautiful, family-style homes. We feel this environment is a great place for youth to heal,” said Lapinski.

The home welcomes church groups to tour the new Teaching Family Homes. Contact Susan Bennett, Director of Public Relations at 765-482-5900 to schedule a tour.

Photo courtesy of IUMCH

The second phase of the building project has been completed at Indiana United Methodist Children’s Home. Bud Milner, Director of Residential Services (pictured left) and Rich Lapinski, Executive Director/CEO, have been a in the building process and implementation of the Teaching Family Model.