Houseparents Complete Training

By Chad A. Parker, LSW Executive Director of Residential Services Each year, Tupelo Children’s Mansion provides an opportunity for our houseparents to enjoy a day of reflection, learning, fellowship . . . and, of course, good food.  This gathering is held at the beautiful facilities of the Tupelo Country Club, and is a highlight of the year.  The most recent training was held on Thursday, May 6th, and it was a great day! The training opened with a time of devotion and prayer led by our First Lady, Sis. Erma Judd.  She spoke on the importance of really hearing the children in our care. She encouraged us to hear their pain, not their pouting; their fear, not their fighting; their sadness, not their sassiness. As she finished, the Spirit of the Lord moved into the room, and the stage was set for the rest  of the day.
...hear their pain, not their pouting; their fear, not their fighting; their sadness, not their sassiness.
Ken Burton, TCM Executive Vice President, started the sessions.  He began by reflecting on his 20-plus years of service at the Mansion, and giving excellent advice to our houseparents.  He then spoke on important budgetary matters concerning the operation of residence halls. Following him was Robert Tomlinson.  Bro. Tomlinson is new to the residential department but he’s not new to the Mansion.  Bro. Tomlinson has worked at TCM for more than 10 years, but recently joined our residential team as our newest Case Manager and Assistant to the Director.  He presented an outstanding session based on the book, Trauma Through a Child’s Eyes, by Peter A. Levine and Maggie Kline. Next, we were privileged to hear a great presentation by our therapists, Tony and Melissa Caldwell.  They spoke about the various diagnoses of children who find themselves in foster care settings.  They enlightened us about the various plans of treatment for these children, and the implications for our houseparents. Before lunch, Thomas Noe, Executive Director of Education, spoke briefly on matters concerning our children and their academic needs.  He encouraged the houseparents in their work, and shared his experiences as a housefather. After a great lunch buffet provided by Tupelo Country Club, we gathered by in for one final session.  This session was presented by Kathryn Slagle, TCM Case Manager and Haven of Hope Program Manager.  She spoke about “A Time of Restoration” and highlighted the Haven of Hope program.  She also shared from her experiences as a housemother. Tupelo Children’s Mansion is blessed to have such an amazing staff.  If you are interested in learning more about houseparenting or are interested in employment as a houseparent, contact Brad Laughlin via email at, or you may contact me at