The need for foster care is tremendous and growing. Geary Girls Ranch will provide assistance to displaced teenage girls from all over Texas. The ranch is located in Grayson County, one of 19 counties in Region 3 of the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS). According to DFPS statistics (December 31, 2017), in Region 3 there were 1,550 children, ages 12 to 18, in foster care, and 809 were female. In addition, there was an unknown number of children who were displaced from their homes not included by CPS in the statistics. Teenagers are the hardest placement within the foster care system and are the least likely to be adopted. This is a well-known fact that I experienced firsthand because I was a teenage girl in foster care in Dallas County. I also know that a good foster home, like the one I had, can make a difference in a foster child’s life. With the shortage of foster homes in the nation and the lack of “quality foster care” in many of these homes, the need for foster homes far outweighs the availability.
Geary Girls Ranch will provide a partial solution to this enormous problem within the foster care system. We will have the capacity to accommodate several girls at a time, providing a safe environment that offers support in healthy lifestyles, education and permanency while encouraging independence and guidance as each young girl transitions into adulthood.
Geary Girls Ranch will be a foster home community with licensed foster parents in each of our 8 homes. Our foster parents will not have their own biological children in the home; therefore, our parents will have the opportunity to fully focus on the girls. Geary Girls Ranch will have support programs for both our girls and parents as well as continued training for our parents, respites, mentors and volunteers. Creating a “community of support” is fundamental in the success of our program and will be the key to making a difference in the lives of many girls who will go forward and become productive, successful young ladies.
I am Susie Black Holamon, President and Founder of the North Texas Geary Girls Ranch. The ranch is a tribute and a legacy to Joe and Charlotte Geary, who were instrumental in my good care. It is my desire to utilize my resources and experiences and “pay it forward” to a new generation of displaced teens. As a CASA (Court Appointed Child Advocate) to a now 17 year- old girl who has been in the system for 4 years with 13 different placements and 9 different caseworkers, I see the huge need for change in the foster care system. Geary Girls Ranch can’t fix the system, but we can produce a “blueprint” for a “foster home community” that serves as the foundation for successful foster homes.
Building homes, building lives and giving girls guidance to grow, this is our vision at North Texas Geary Girls Ranch.
Susie Black Holamon