…inspiring kids to make meaningful changes that last a lifetime



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What Drives Us

Our Mission

Sweeten Home for Children believes that each child we work with possesses the strength to overcome their troubled past.  It is essential for each child to achieve their own potential by developing healthy relationships, setting attainable goals, expressing themselves appropriately, and being able to show compassion and respect for others. 

Getting Involved

Learning More About Sweeten Home For Children

History of SHFC

Sweeten Home for Children, Inc. was founded in 1991 by Tim and Elizabeth Sweeten. The Sweeten’s obtained a license from the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services to provide therapeutic foster care services to 5 children (boys and girls) ages 8 through 17 years of age.  The original location for Sweeten Home for Children was in Mullin, Texas.

MakING a Donation

We are deeply grateful for all of our generous donors that contribute to the mission of our organization. Donations make a HUGE impact when it comes to providing the best resources and opportunities for the boys in Sweeten Home For Children. Your donations are considered a tax exemption as we are a 501(c)3 registered non-profit organization. 

Work With Sweeten Home For Children

We regularly have openings for opportunities to work within our home. If you would like to be notified about job openings and opportunities, please fill out the job application below and email the filled out application to sweetenhome@centex.net.

Meet The Team

Scott Russell

Scott Russell

Executive Director/Administrator

Scott was raised in Brown County and graduated from Early High School in 1981. He married his wife, Becky, in 1984 and they have three children (Robby, Ryan and Callye). Scott worked at the Texas Youth Comission from 1984 to 1987 while he attended college at Tarleton State University, graduating with a BS in Criminal Justice in 1987.

In 1987, Scott and his family moved to Midland, Texas and began working with foster children and their families at High Sky Children’s Ranch (Residential Treatment Setting) obtaining certification as a Family Teacher, Consultant, Evaluator, and Trainer in conjunction with Father Flanagan’s Boys Town.  Scott also coordinated the S.T.A.Y. Together program from 1988 to 1991 that provided in home services to at risk families in the surrounding counties of Midland, Texas. 

In 1992, Scott and his family moved to Ft. Worth, Texas and continued their work with foster children and their families with Lena Pope Home (Residential Treatment Setting) utilizing and enhancing their Family Teaching Certification skills.  

In 1993, Scott and Becky took the opportunity to move closer to family where Scott began working with New Horizon Ranch (Child Placing Agency) in Goldthwaite, Texas as Foster Care Director. He continued in this position until 1995 when he and his wife began fostering children in their home through New Horizons.   

With a growing family to take care of, Scott accepted the position of Administrator for Sweeten Home for Children (General Residential Operation) in 1995. While maintaining his job duties at Sweeten Home for Children and fostering children, Scott simultaneously worked for Caring Family Network )Child Placing Agency) from 1997 to 2006 and Kids at The Crossroads (Child Placing Agency) from 2006 to 2013 serving as Area Supervisor over numerous foster children, families, and case managers.  

In 1997, while still working for Sweeten Home for Children, Scott took the position of Executive Director/Administrator.  Scott remains employed at Sweeten Home for Children to this day where he has grown the overall program from serving 6 children to 21 boy’s ages 8 years old to 21 years of age.  Scott has been working with foster children and their families here in the Central Texas area for the past 37 years.   

Robert Mahoney, LCSW

Robert Mahoney, LCSW

Treatment Director/Therapist

Robert is originally from the Dallas-Fort Worth area.  He graduated with a BBA in 1976 and a BS Social Work in 1977 from Hardin Simmons University.  He began working at Wood’s Psychiatric Hospital in 1975 where he recognized his passion for helping children. 

He received his MSW in 1985 from Our Lady of the Lake (San Antonio) and then his LCSW in 1990. Robert continued working at Woods Institute as Director of Admissions and Outpatient Services until 1995. From 1993-1995, he also provided individual and group therapy for men involved in domestic violence. 

In 1995, Robert went into private practice working exclusively with foster children contracting with New Horizon, Caring Hearts, World for Children, and many other child placing agencies. This included contracting with Sweeten Home for Children to provide therapy services starting in 1999. Then in 2017 was asked to join Sweeten Home on a full-time basis as case manager/therapist and then in 2021 as treatment director/therapist. Robert is married to Julie and their daughter, Carrie, attends college.

Christy Lewis

Christy Lewis

Program Director

Christy has spent the last nine years working with children from hard places at New Horizons Ranch as a Supervisor/Team Leader and am she is excited about her recent move to the Sweeten Home. She hold a certificate as a Certified TBRI Practitioner as well as Handle with Care Trainer. She is currently in the process of completing her degree in Early Childhood Development/Education. She is happily married to her husband of 17 years and the proud mother of two wonderful daughters.

Lori Russel, BSW, LCPAA

Lori Russel, BSW, LCPAA

Case Manager

Lori Russell grew up in Brown County and is a graduate of Brownwood High School class of 2002. Lori graduated from Lubbock Christian University with a Bachelor of Science in Social Work. While in college, Lori was the Secretary for the Social Workers of America organization up until she graduated and moved back to Brownwood. Lori has close to 18 years’ experience working with children in the foster care system and has worked in many areas as a Social Worker (Home development specialist, case management/case management supervisor and adoption specialist). Lori has devoted herself to being a voice for children who do not feel as though they have one, and ensuring they have the upmost care and love provided to them. Lori is married to Robby and together they have two beautiful daughters, Layla and Emmi. Lori and Robby are also the Owners, and operators, of Double R Deer Processing in Brownwood. When away from her desk, Lori enjoys spending time with her family, helping her husband run their business, and being a part of the many extracurricular activities that her children are involved in through the community, and at school. Lori’s favorite quote is: “Every kid is one caring adult away from being a success story.” – Josh Shipp

Rhonda Harth, B.S.

Rhonda Harth, B.S.

Case Manager

Ronda graduated from Howard Payne University in 1986 with a Bachelor of Science in Sociology and has worked with children/families in the foster care system for 37 years. Through the years, Ronda’s work with children has included many roles such as Case Manager, Group Leader, Family

Advocate, Foster Family Developer, Supervisor, and Regional Director over Regions 2 and 9. Ronda’s entire adult career has been serving children and families involved with the CPS/foster care system.
Ronda married Danny Harth the day she graduated from Howard Payne in 1986 and together, they raised 3 sons in Brownwood, TX. They both now enjoy their favorite roles in life as being “Nana and Poppy” to their 5 grandchildren.

Ronda has loved spending her adult career working with children and helping them to overcome the struggles they have faced in their young lives. As much as Ronda has attempted to give back too and offer hope to these children that have struggled, she feels she is the one who has received the most in learning the true meanings of strength and endurance.

Lena Day

Lena Day

Director of Quality Improvement

Frances Long

Frances Long

Administrative Assistant

Frances Long began working at CVS at 16 years old, she moved up through the company for the next 18 years. Frances began working with kids in 2015. After experiencing a traumatic loss, she decided on a career change with New Horizons Ranch working as direct care staff. Frances developed a huge love for working with kids that come from hard places. While working with the kids, she started her own foster home. She took in 2 boys, then later adopted one of the boys and then other one was reunited to family. She then moved to the Sweeten Home in 2021 to continue her journey locally to provide the same care she did at the ranch. She became a supervisor of the home, then took a job as administrative assistant. Frances then married her husband Royce and together they have four boys. She has a deep passion for helping others achieve their goals.


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