Imagine a place where healing begins through trauma-related therapy. It’s not an uncomfortable therapy session. No “trust issues”, weird couch or uncomfortable silence. In fact, you have no idea you’re even there for healing! Imagine a place where you find healing through your talents. A place where you have the ability to heal and grow through dance, art, acting, music, and engagement with others in need of healing. No matter your net worth, skin color, or social status, you have a place where you are safe. This is where the healing begins at the Peppers Ranch Learning Center: Hope for Healing. This center is an expansion of our current learning center where 11,000 sq. ft. will be adding services, support, and success to the children who call Peppers Ranch their home.
Through shelter, counseling, and growth-oriented activities, Peppers Ranch seeks to “break the cycle” of child abuse and neglect. By creating a network of caring, supportive adults on whom children can depend, Peppers Ranch is committed to providing long-term quality foster care and a safe environment where physical and emotional wounds can heal.
Peppers Ranch currently is home to 13 foster families, with 110 children consisting SOur community places strong emphasis on keeping sibling groups together thus avoiding children being bounced around in the DHS system. It is the goal of Peppers Ranch to become home to as many children as possible. These children, through no fault of their own, have been victims of abuse and neglect. Our safe and nurturing community will inspire and equip children to reach their full potential.
In 1999, 160 acres north of Edmond and west of Guthrie were purchased and donated to Peppers Ranch with the goal of developing a long-term residential care facility providing quality, planned care for abused and neglected boys. The first home was completed in April 2002. The McClendon Equestrian Center was completed in November 2005, a second home was opened in late 2005, and the Watts Ag Center was finished in May 2006.
Children who enter into the foster care system have been exposed to domestic violence and substance abuse by their parents. We have outgrown our current Learning Center and are in need of additional space to add specific programs, services and therapies to our already existing service plan. The expansion of this learning center has one goal: To heal traumatized foster children in need, through the identification of individual talents and life experiences. To prepare, educate and motivate our next generation of fearless leaders. Foster Children who are trauma exposed will have improved skill sets in the areas of: Positive Self–Concept, Great Self-Responsibility, Self-Direction, Self-Reliance, Self-Determined in decision making, Feeling of Control, Sensitive to Process of Coping, Internal Source of Evaluation and a More Trusting of Self.
At Peppers Ranch, all services are provided on-site such as art therapy, academic tutoring, individual counseling, a riding program, and 4-H/FFA activities. Children attend Guthrie Public Schools or an educational setting deemed appropriate by their foster family. In addition to the monthly per child allowance foster parents receive from the State of Oklahoma DHS, Peppers Ranch provides monetary support to be used for either the direct or indirect care of the child. We provide weekly consultation services (for the foster parents) with a psychiatrist who specializes in working with children who have trauma issues. The foster parents offer each other daily support, respite and will even co-parent children in the community. Children also know when they are angry, they can visit a “neighbor” for a brief cooling off period. This support has increased foster parent satisfaction and retention, resulting in a decrease in the number of times a child is moved to another home and/or shelter in foster care.