House Parent Job Description

The general scope of responsibilities while employed as a houseparent are all the tasks relating to personal care, housing, meals, study and recreational activities of children in a residential child care establishment. They usually live in the home with the children in their care.

Following are typical tasks of house parents:


Elicit good behavior of the children


Supervise and arrange activities to ensure proper mental, physical, social and spiritual development


Ensure hygiene standards are maintained


Ensure that the students attend school regularly


Be a sounding board to children with problems or provide counseling services


Manage the household (domestic duties)


Take children on outings.


Being a house parent can be considered more of a calling than an occupation. While on duty, this is a 24 hour a day responsibility (just like being a parent to your own children). You must have an innate concern for the wellbeing of youngsters.  You don’t choose the children placed in your care, so a good understanding of cultural differences is important. Effective houseparents have a strong sense of responsibility, great leadership skills, are very organized, able to work in close proximity to others, and be in good health and physical condition.


Most of the time, you will be in close contact with biological parents, social workers, counselors and child psychologists, teachers and more.  The ability to interface with a variety of people is essential. Good recordkeeping is also important.


Many employers require a college degree for at least one of the houseparent couple. Certainly experience working with children is viewed very favorably (including your own children). Most of the time houseparents work with troubled children, so specific experience in this field will give the applicant couple a favorable position.


Because of the interpersonal nature of this work with children, you can expect a very thorough background drug, and reference check.

You will need a valid drivers license and be insurable. You will probably be required to have CPR and first aid certifications, or be able to obtain them.


House parents are employed in a variety of environments. You could work in a Christian facility, a state or county organization, maternity home, etc. It is important that you research the guiding principles of the employer, to ensure that they line up with your own personal principles.  This job is not 9 to 5.  It’s your life. Due diligence up front will make for a much happier home life for you (and the children in your home).

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