Become a Shelter Parent

Become a Shelter Parent

Shelter home parents do extraordinary things. 

Helping Hands shelter home parents are special people who provide guidance, love and stability to children and teens in need of a safe place to live.

Are you able to provide care in a bilingual English & Spanish speaking home? Apply today by calling 856.651.9633

Are you able to provide care in an English only speaking home? Apply today by calling 856.881.6100       

Helping Hands believes all youth need a caring home environment to reach their full potential. The program, which places children and teens age newborn to 18 in short-term shelter homes, ensures youth are nurtured in a safe and encouraging home setting as they begin their journey towards family reunification.

Shelter home parents have the opportunity to change the direction of a child who has experienced unimaginable trauma. By providing comfort, security, and hope, shelter home parents create an environment that encourages personal growth, instills family values, and celebrates successes.

The best part? Our parents aren’t in it alone. Helping Hands trained staff are there every step of the way to guide parents to become the best caregivers they can be. The program also offers a competitive stipend and an excellent training program. 

Please note, we are especially in need of shelter home parents that are bi-lingual, English and Spanish. 

Not sure if becoming a Shelter Home Parent is right for you? Continue reading for our Frequently Asked Questions or to take our short questionnaire.

Frequently Asked Questions

FAQ - Sheltering Children and Teens

FAQ - Sheltering Children & Teens in Bilingual (English/Spanish) Homes


Contact Us

Interested in speaking with someone about becoming a shelter home parent? Contact us today!

Phone: 856.651.9633        


Shelter Home Parent Criteria

Potential shelter home parents must meet the following criteria to be considered:

  • Must be 25 years of age
  • Bi-lingual English and Spanish (if accepting youth immigrating from outside the United States)
  • A legal US citizen or legal US resident
  • Possess a valid NJ driver's license, with an insured vehicle
  • Complete an extensive background check (be clear of convictions for crimes or disorderly person offenses)
  • Have income sufficient to meet your family's needs
  • Be in good general health
  • Have stable housing
  • Successfully complete interview screenings
  • Successfully complete home study
  • Successfully complete extensive training program
Take our Shelter Home Parent Hero Quiz!

Helping Hands Parent Quiz

Every child needs a space to call their own. If you are interested in becoming a shelter home parent you must have a private bedroom available for our youth.
Children and teenagers are exploring and learning about the world around them. Most importantly, they're trying to find out how they fit in. Could you see yourself guiding them on that journey?
We're not looking for computer science majors or programmers. But being a Helping Hands Serenity Homes shelter parent means using a computer to communicate with our team.
Youth you'll work with need help learning how to pick themselves back up after a setback. Sometimes that means breaking down a goal into smaller, achievable steps, or changing an expectation so they can be successful.
What works for one child may not work for another. We're looking for individuals and families who can think creatively to help a young person become their very best.

Sounds like you may be a great fit!

The decision to become a shelter home parent is an intensely personal one. Being a parent means welcoming a child into not just your family and home, but also your heart.

Helping Hands Serenity Homes parents take all forms – from those that have finished raising their own children to individuals who want to give back to their community by helping families of all types stay together. We want to help you explore when your vision is and see if being a foster parent is right for you.

You probably have many questions and, perhaps, some hesitations. Take the next step by filling out the last few questions below. We’ll set up a conversation with one of our team members. 

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