When Father Flanagan founded Boys Town in 1917, it was as a home for boys who had fallen through society’s cracks. Regardless of background, ethnicity or religion, Father Flanagan brought these young men together under one roof because he firmly believed, “There are no bad boys. There is only bad environment, bad training, bad example, bad thinking.”
Today, nearly 100 years later, Boys Town still serves as a home for boys and girls – who are at-risk and in need of family-based care, education and nurturing. And Father Flanagan’s original vision has proved to be incredibly effective, with thousands of former Boys Town residents now leading successful, productive lives throughout the United States and beyond.
This is Boys Town’s Family Home program. And it is based on the simple notion of having a married couple of Family-Teachers as the heads of each Boys Town residence. In each home, up to eight boys or girls between the ages of 11 and 18 live and learn together under the close watch and guidance of their Family-Teachers.
Click here to learn more about life in a Boys Town Family Home.
Living with a houseful of teenagers can be hectic, as you might imagine. But as challenging as it can be, it fosters a unique atmosphere of familial camaraderie that lasts long past graduation. These kids end up feeling like brothers and sisters. And their Family-Teachers almost become a second family to them. The Family-Teachers give them a sense of stability and love that they have likely never known. It is this bond that is fundamental to the program.
And while Boys Town has grown over the years to provide in-home counseling and other services to at-risk families all across America, along with educational consulting to schools and even a nationally renowned research hospital, it is the Family Home program that is the heart and soul of Father Flanagan’s original dream.