March 2017

Job Description:  Special Friends Home Parents

Summary:  Special Friends Foundation ( is a 501c3 charitable organization founded by Carol and Chris Garavente in 1997 to assist special needs individuals and their families. There is a tremendous shortage of residential solutions for intellectually and developmentally disabled adults.  To address this need, Special Friends is founding their first group home for intellectually disabled adults in Drexel Hill, PA.   Our goal in this endeavor is to provide a loving, dignified, and encouraging environment for special needs house mates that will allow them to live full, rich lives.  A five bedroom home has been purchased and approved by the Upper Darby Zoning Board for use as a group home.

Model:  Special Friends has chosen to pursue a care model based on family living, hence the job title “Parent”.    Our vision is that a married couple and our special needs clients will live in community as a family.   This is different than most provider agencies who staff facilities with hourly wage personnel.  The founders feel very strongly that the family model is a superior approach to community living.  The most important criteria for any candidate is that they feel that caring for the least of us is a vocational call they are answering.

Job Responsibilities

As mentioned, it is critical that house parents subscribe to the philosophy of living as a family.  So the primary responsibility is to live that philosophy.  As a part of that, house parents will be responsible to be fully versed in each resident’s respective ISP and participate in planning and update processes as necessary.

Tasks:  The candidates know well that the spectrum of disabilities and the associated needs of individuals is broad.  In general, the responsibilities are that of a parent or older sibling.  Some or all of the following tasks may be part of the job description:

1.     Bathing- showering, washing hair
2.     Grooming- shaving, combing/brushing hair, brushing teeth, general hygiene
3.     Dressing- selecting clothes for the day appropriate for weather, assisting in putting clothes on.
4.     Toileting
5.     Health- transport to medical and dental visits
6.     Errands
7.     Grocery Shopping
8.     Laundry
9.     Household chores (in cooperation with clients)
10.   Transportation- to day programs and related community activities
11.   Meals- preparation, serving, feeding, clean up (in cooperation with clients when appropriate)
12. Recreation/activity planning

Resources:  The following resources will be available:

1.     Special Friends minivan
2.     Cell phone
3.     Special Friends credit card/gas card
4.     Costco card
5.     Expense reimbursement for SFF expenses


1.     3914 Cedar Lane closed November 2016
2.     First resident (Louis) January 2017
3.     Training for House Parents Spring 2017
4.     Start date for House Parents June 2017
5.     Recruiting of additional clients H2 2017
6.     Addition of supplemental staff as necessary H2 2017


1.     Multi year commitment
2.     Core compensation to be determined
3.     Expense account
4.     Uber account
5.     Training hours compensated

Preferred Requirements:

1.     Willingness to do God’s work.
2.     Experience with special needs individuals.
3.     Bachelor’s Degree in related field (Special Education, Psychology, etc).

To Apply:

If interested, please download the application (under employment>application) and submit the application, a personal statement that includes specifics as to why the applicant(s) are uniquely qualified to take on the responsiblities of living in community with, and parenting adults with special needs, and a resume to