For Boys Town Family-Teaching Couple, Changing Children’s Lives Is the Ultimate Reward
By Sarah Ford on April 16, 2015
Abby and Rob Fehr have always had a passion for teaching children. That’s why they earned their college degrees and became schoolteachers.
But when they decided they wanted to do even more to change children’s lives for the better, Abby and Rob applied to be a Family-Teaching Couple at Boys Town. After being hired in 2012, they made the move from Maplewood, Minnesota, to the Village of Boys Town, Nebraska, where they found a rewarding career, a supportive community and a successful youth care program that promotes a lifestyle of learning for both Family-Teachers® and the children who live with and depend on them.
A typical day for the Fehr family isn’t much different from what happens in most American homes. The family eats and plays together, the kids go to school and do chores, and Abby and Rob run errands. However, unlike many households, their Boys Town family is made up of children from many different families and is constantly changing. Right now, the Fehrs’ house is home to four boys and the couple’s own children, 3 ½-year-old Caleb and 3-month-old Elliana.
“Our son loves it,” said Abby. “The boys are like built-in big brothers. He loves to play and wrestle and go to their events. Our daughter is too young to know any different, but the boys are good with her. They like to help out and hold her.”
Another thing that makes the Fehr family unique is the training and preparation Abby and Rob received before taking on the responsibilities of caring for Boys Town youth. Before welcoming the first youth into their Family Home, the Fehrs completed a two-week preservice training program that helped prepare them for the tasks and challenges they would face as new Family-Teachers.
Those challenges include providing a fresh start for young people who have been abused or neglected, who have experienced school failure or who have let alcohol or drugs derail their lives. Through lessons, exercises and practice, Abby and Rob learned how to effectively implement the research-proven Boys Town Model® to help kids overcome these issues while providing a caring family environment.
Boys Town understands the importance of family stability, so there are many resources available to the Fehrs that allow them to effectively help the youth in their care and enjoy a rewarding career. Boys Town provides a generous salary and benefit package, and covers the family’s living expenses, including utilities, rent, home maintenance and groceries. Like all Family-Teachers, the Fehrs receive constant support, guidance and encouragement from a network of Boys Town consultants, administrative staff members and health specialists.
But of all the benefits that come from working at Boys Town, Abby and Rob both say the ones that mean the most are those associated with making a positive difference in the lives of the youth.
“My favorite part is when I’m teaching one of the boys and I can tell that it’s a really genuine moment,” said Abby. “When I can see that they’re listening, accepting my teaching and planning on making changes – that’s the exciting part.”
Rob couldn’t agree more.
“We’ve been here and seen kids go through school and graduate,” he said. “From when they step in the door until they leave, it’s great to see all the skills they’ve learned and how they’ve matured. The main reason to be a Family-Teacher is that you have a heart for kids. You want to see kids get better and families come back together. Our job is great because it’s a tangible way to make a difference in a child’s or family’s life.”
At Boys Town, Family-Teachers like the Fehrs are on the front lines every day in the battle to save children and heal families. With compassion and competence, they are helping to win that battle, one child at a time.
This story about the Fehrs was originally published on Boys Town’s website at http://www.boystown.org/careers/a-day-in-the-life/family-teacher/the-fehrs-story.
Our thanks to Boys Town for allowing us to repost this inspiring story. To learn more about Boys Town and how you can support their work, visit their website: www.boystown.org.
To learn how your company can feature Boys Town through an employee giving program and support initiatives like their Family-Home program, contact America’s Charities and learn more about our workplace giving solutions at: https://www.charities.org/social-responsibility-employee-engagement-solutions