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New & Views - Feb, 1992 Issue 

A Christian Perspective
By Larry Stednitz
Western Youth Network
(800) 328-1877

The Western Youth Network has begun researching low cost programs to meet the needs of the 70 to 80 percent of the callers who do not have the financial resources to afford good programs. Interesting developments have occurred. First, we have discovered there are probably thousands of group homes and Christian programs throughout the United States. As we researched these schools, we learned that most of them are not aware of other Christian Programs within their own state. There is one national association of homes and services for children, and they have a membership of six to seven hundred Christian Homes. We also found that there are very few states who have well organized Christian child care associations. Two of these states are New Mexico and Florida.

The Western Youth Network is in the process of working with several people across the country to develop a National Christian Youth Network. The purpose of this network is to direct families who are needing low cost group homes and programs for their children. We have also discovered there are several Masonic homes throughout the country who are able to take children at very low cost. When completed, the Network will have an accurate listing of all Christian Homes, residential schools, and treatment programs throughout the United States. We will have offices on the East and West Coast as well as the Midwest to service families across the country.

It is our ambitious goal to assist families regardless of their financial resources to find appropriate assistance for their children. At this point, Dr. James Lindsey, Associate Pastor of the Christian Gathering Church in Maryland, will be working with us on the East Coast. Jim's specialties lie in developing the capability of churches to deal with family dynamics, develop outreach treatment group home models, and assist in helping group homes form accreditation bodies. For those of you who have an interest in his work, he can be reached at 301-777-3555.

Charles Gibson, the Executive Director of New Mexico Boys and Girl's Ranch in New Mexico, has also been quite helpful in this endeavor. Charles was instrumental in founding the New Mexico Christian Child Care Association and has been involved extensively in this work for many years. His guidance has been most helpful. Charles' interest and focus has been on how to run an effective Christian nonprofit program, strategic planning, fund raising, and building coalitions. Charles can be reached at 505-864-2177.

We have been developing the National Christian Network over the past six months. Since this time, our calls from Christian families have increased considerably. We welcome any and all of you who have an interest in this undertaking to call Larry Stednitz at the Western Youth Network telephone number 800-328-1877.

Copyright 1992, Woodbury Reports, Inc. (This article may be reproduced without prior approval if the copyright notice and proper publication and author attribution accompanies the copy.)

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