Our Story

Heartland Children's Home was founded by Mike and Ruth Schwartz who have been the loving foster parents for more than 140 children over the past 19 years. They, along with their daughter Dawn and several round the clock nurses, provide care for up to twelve medically fragile children at any given time. These children suffer from complications of shaken baby syndrome, prenatal drug exposure, HIV and AIDS, and other diseases and disabilities. The children are often dependent on feeding tubes, ventilators, and medication for survival. Many of the children are disabled because of abuse or neglect by their birth parents.

Heartland is a place that provides these children with a loving family, often in stark contrast to the neglectful environments they came from. Heartland is located on eighteen heavily wooded acres of land outside of Boerne, Texas in the world famous Texas Hill Country. It's a tranquil place where the air is fresh and the skies are beautiful. There are farm animals to help with child development for the more fortunate children that have the ability to venture outside of the home. There is individualized special care provided for the ones that have more medical needs and don't share the same blessings. Services are provided to the children from birth to eighteen years of age.

Mike and Ruth agree that the “children inspire us with their will to live and their ability to love”. Ruth explained in a recent interview that “when they come to the ranch, they are fragile and untrusting due to past abuse and neglect; but within hours, they begin to open their hearts to us. It’s amazing to see the transformation. All they need is the comfort and security of loving arms”. Heartland provides skilled nursing services to medically fragile children by using registered nurses, licensed vocational nurses, occupational therapists, physical therapists, speech therapists and developmental specialists.

Heartland also assists families in the community that find themselves overwhelmed physically and financially with the special medical and developmental needs of their children. There is a great need when caring for handicapped and terminally ill children for education of parents and significant others. To be able to ask questions and receive understandable answers to these questions can lighten the burden that some of these families face on a day to day basis. Mike & Ruth Schwartz, the founders and operators of Heartland, stand out among their peers when it comes to foster parenting. With so much negative press these days, it is refreshing to see how seriously they take their work, and how dedicated they are to providing a loving home, and quality care to the children who are blessed to live at Heartland.

Mike & Ruth were honored in March of 1997 in Washington D.C. by the Child Welfare League of America for outstanding contributions and dedicated service to children, youths, and their families. They received the Outstanding Foster Parent Award for the Southern Region of the United States. They also received the honored Hidalgo Award from the Commissioners Court of Bexar County, which award is the highest honor bestowed upon a citizen.