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It is our mission to provide a safe, loving and life enhancing Christian environment for children with special emotional and developmental needs
Hill Country Youth Ranch (HCYR), established in 1977, is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation licensed by the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services to provide long-term therapeutic care for abused and orphaned children at all service levels. HCYR offers a continuum of services ranging from psychiatric assessment and intensely structured care, to family-style living in spacious homes, to transitional living for emancipated youth in a community college setting. The Ranch operates three campuses, listed below:
Hill Country Youth Ranch. A 45-building village spreads across 265 acres just west of Ingram. Three licensed programs provide services for children of all need levels in 10 residential settings, including two psychiatric assessment centers. Eight of the ten residences are family-style homes. Other facilities include charter schools (K - 12), chapel, library, fine arts complex, general store, ag barn, ropes course, gymnasium, community center, greenhouse, woodworking shop, indoor swimming pool, and community garden.
Big Springs Ranch for Children. The second campus was established on the 7000-acre Big Springs Ranch near Leakey, 48 miles west of Ingram, in 1996. In addition to residential facilities, grandparents cottages, and charter schools (K-12), the campus includes horse stables, a 4H barn, a vocational shop, a gymnasium, athletic fields, wilderness camping, transitional living houses, a general store, and a chapel - all set along the Frio River. BSRC completed its first 10-year growth plan in 2007, and a second 10-year plan is nearing completion.
Enhanced Horizons Center for Advancement. In 2007, The Cailloux Foundation of Kerrville purchased a defunct children’s home campus formerly known as Star Ranch and donated it to Hill Country Youth Ranch to operate a transitional home and educational program for young adults who age out of foster care. Remodeling began in 2008 to convert houses for children to apartments for young adults. Seven residences have been converted, providing apartments for up to 28 young adults. One of these residences provides housing and program support for single young mothers and their infants/toddlers.
Children and Youth Facts
The two children’s ranches house up to 115 Texas children at any given time. Most are placed by Child Protective Services. About half the children are girls, half boys. About half are teenagers, and about half are children, 5 to 12 years old.
Over 1500 children have lived at HCYR, and the length of stay has ranged from a few months to 10 years. The Ranch stays in touch with its alumni, and is proud of their high rate of successful outcomes, assessed by virtue of their being employed, successfully parenting children, and having broken the cycles of abuse and criminality that plagued their biological families.
HCYR’s third ranch provides young adults with post-secondary services, education and job training during key transitional years.
- Seantel Trask van Garderen
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