Helping Hands Serenity Homes

Shelter home parents do extraordinary things. 

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

Helping Hands Serenity Homes 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. 

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. 

Domestic and International Shelter Care

Helping Hands Serenity Homes offers shelter home parents two options when selecting the type of youth they’d be willing and able to care for.

Shelter care for children and teens residing in New Jersey.

Providing a home to a child or teen in need of care is a rewarding act of dedication and compassion. Our domestic program provides care for children and teens age 9-18 for approximately 30 days in shelter homes throughout southern New Jersey. To learn more about the requirements to become a shelter home parent, download our Frequently Asked Questions.

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

Phone: 856.881.6100        

Email: helpinghands@centerffs.org  

Shelter care for children and teens whose home of origin is not the United States.

Children and teens come to the United States each year with the hope of reconnecting with family. Center For Family Services offers these youth a safe and nurturing home environment by connecting them to shelter home parents for approximately 30 days while the Office of Refugee Resettlement works to locate their family. Shelter home parents interested in caring for these youth must be bi-lingual English/Spanish. Additionally, there may be the option to shelter sibling groups and/or pregnant teens. To learn more about the requirements to become a shelter home parent to international youth, download our Frequently Asked Questions.

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

Phone: 856.651.9633

Email: helpinghands@centerffs.org 

Referral Information

Youth are referred to Helping Hands Serenity Homes through the Division of Child Protection and Permanent and the Office of Refugee Resettlement. 

Funders

NJ Department of Children and Families, Division of Child Protection and Permanency and the Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Refugee Resettlement. 

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. 

Looks like one or more of the answers you selected above needs to be revisited if you'd like to explore being a Helping Hands Serenity Homes shelter home parent further.

Safe & Supportive Housing