National accreditation verifies Texas Boys Ranch's credibility, best practices
When you choose to support a charitable agency you want to make sure it's not being wasted. You need to know donations are being used properly.
After a lot of work, the Texas Boys Ranch now has the credentials to prove your donations are helping children in need.
First, we have to go back several years. It started simple enough. A guest on a radio show questioned charitable giving. It wasn't anything malicious, just questioning the process and happened to throw out a few agencies' names. Among them: The Texas Boys Ranch.
"Once I quit being upset about that, I started thinking," said John Sigle, president of the Texas Boys Ranch. "Well, how do we help people understand that we truly are the kind of quality organization that I know us to be. And pursuing national accreditation is the way to make that happen."
This started years of work.
"We knew that we had an amazing organization. And we proved it," Sigle said. "Because they actually came out, and not only did we have to send them about 3,000 pages of documentation. But we also had a peer-reviewed team that came out and spent 3.5 days with us and they were into all of that business."
This included interviews with staff and management as well as house parents, foster parents and children. After a thorough review of the Ranch's practices, the Council on Accreditation granted the long-sought certification.
There is still plenty more work ahead.
"Once you're accredited you want to maintain accreditation," Sigle explained. "So that means you can't let things fall by the wayside." Sigle compares it to accomplishing a goal of losing weight then changing habits and gaining the weight back.
The Texas Boys Ranch staff has regular meetings and reviews focused on the accreditation criteria. And they also seek the latest training and technology. This includes the ability to provide care and therapy to children who have experienced severe trauma. Some of these kids have been through the unthinkable.
"Physical neglect, emotional neglect, could be a form of physical abuse, sexual abuse, domestic violence, drug dealers in their homes," Sigle said. The Ranch has had children come into care whose parents were involved in manufacturing illegal drugs. "Often when you hear about a bust or something like that, it's a good chance that those children that were affected are in either our shelter or on our campus perhaps."
Special people make the Texas Boys Ranch work. It, of course, takes money. When you give you can be sure it's fulfilling the Ranch's mission.
Join us for the Texas Boys Ranch Telethon Saturday, Aug. 10 from 6 to 11 p.m. on FOX34. You can also come out and watch at the Firehouse Theater in the Louise Hopkins Underwood Center for the Arts. We'll have live music, heart-warming stories, auctions and much more.