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New Perspectives - Feb, 1996 Issue #38 

Mike Jones, President
Boise, Idaho

Founded in 1952, Idaho Youth Ranch is a private, non- profit agency which exists to help troubled children and families. Starting with a tract of desert land 14 miles north of Rupert, Idaho, it has grown to where it cares for more than 500 young people and families per year. 

It consists of the working ranch and farm north of Rupert, handling 50 youngsters; "Group" homes in Nampa and Coeur d'Alene offing a structured family living situation; Anchor House in Coeur d'Alene accepting up to twelve youth for treatment; The Emancipation Home in Boise focusing on older youth needing help transitioning into independent living; Family Preservation Services in several areas of Idaho providing help in a family's home; and their Adoption Services placing infants with adoptive parents, provides counseling to birth parents, and provides services to families adopting children from foreign countries. 

More than half of their funding comes from contributions from concerned individuals, and some comes from contracts with agencies. Some parents pay the tuition for their child, but extensive scholarships are available needing financial help. 

The ranch emphasizes a work ethic from daily chores to Adopt-A- Highway, from feeding cattle to washing dishes. Those who are ready attend the public school, but for those behind their age group in academics, the "Ranch in cooperation with the Minidoka County School District, has a school taught by special education teachers". The Ranch believes "that the diversity of religious preferences within the Ranch family helps foster tolerance and understanding of those from different faiths" so each young person "is encouraged to attend the church of his or her choice in the community...." 

Copyright 1996, 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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