We know the decision to put your child into a program can be one of the most difficult decisions you will ever have to make.
We understand your feelings of fear, uncertainty, loss of control, and ambivalence. We are here to help you in any way possible as you make a determination if this is the direction you feel you need to go. Our goal is to help you, your child, and family to heal and become one of our many success stories. Below you will find the answers to the many questions and concerns that we have addressed to help reduce your anxiety and feel more comfortable in making this positive life-changing decision.
Promise Village is a fully supervised program. This means that the residents are always under direct supervision. They do not go into the community by themselves. There is direct supervision, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. There are overnight Life Coaches that stay awake and monitor the residents and document on their status every 15 minutes. We have 24 hour on-call administrative support in case it is needed. There is a 1:4 ratio of staff to residents and this is typically exceeded with the therapists and administrative staffing that is available and active in the milieu.
All Life Coaches receive a significant amount of training (see Life Coach section) to ensure competency and consistency. All Life Coaches are CPR/First Aid certified and have ongoing training in Emergency Preparedness. They are also trained and certified by the Crisis Prevention Institute in Non-violent Crisis Intervention.
All staff members, including the Life Coaches, are highly scrutinized prior to being employed at Promise Village. Before being hired, staff members are subjected to multiple interviews, screening and back-ground checks to make sure they are appropriate for employment. We do extensive reference checks and validation of prior work experience and education. We also do Central Registry Clearance checks to determine if there was any past history of untoward behavior. We perform criminal history and driving record checks. T.B. tests are required for all staff, as well. Our staff members are carefully selected in order to have personnel who maintain a personal lifestyle consistent with Promise Village’s goals and that they have a desire to be positive role models for those we serve. We are aware of the responsibility we have in respectfully caring for each resident and creating a nurturing and healing environment to facilitate positive growth.
Promise Village does not use corporal punishment (any form of inflicting pain or physical deprivation) in its programming with the children and teenagers we serve. We believe it is ineffective and counter-productive as it relates to our desire to establish and maintain healthy relationships with the residents. We are not a punitive environment and believe many other techniques can be used to appeal to a young person’s heart and need for change. We institute Creative Behavior Management Techniques and the use of activity restrictions and consequences in order to change the course of negative behaviors and hold the residents accountable for their actions. Our desire is to only use these techniques as “teachable moments” and help the residents see their “thinking errors” and learn positive ways of dealing with their struggles.
Some children/teens may have anxiety regarding the animals. All of our animals are carefully selected for appropriateness in this environment. The dogs we have in the home are well-trained and hypo-allergenic. Most children/teens that come to Promise Village have little or no experience with horses or horseback riding. Safety is the first priority and each resident must learn all aspects of horse care/horsemanship before ever mounting a horse. All equine interactions and horseback riding are closely supervised. They are never unaccompanied when they are in the vicinity of any animals, whether feeding, cleaning stalls, or horseback riding. No resident is ever made to ride a horse, but the equine therapy program is typically enjoyed by all.
For all new residents, a physical examination shall have been completed within one year prior to admission and a TB test within 3 years prior to admission. After admission, all residents will receive an annual physical and TB test, as needed. The physical health of each resident is of paramount importance to us. If there is a health concern with any child/teen, the parent is notified immediately and action is taken to address the concern. We are vigilant about addressing any issues that are of a health nature. We assess colds, flu, and any other health-related concerns with the utmost care and as if the child was our own. The Life Coaches are trained in medication administration and only give medication (including over the counter meds.) as instructed by the treating physician and/or with administrative approval. Any allergies to medication or other related issues are carefully documented and appropriately addressed.
A part of our state licensing process is the requirement for environmental health inspections. We must pass a rigorous environmental health inspection to ensure that the home and grounds do not pose any risk to our residents or staff. This includes, but is not limited to, an assessment of the food pantry, kitchen, food preparedness, water checks, house environment, property, etc.
Fire, Tornado, and Severe Weather Protocols
As previously mentioned, all of our staff are trained in emergency preparedness as it relates to fires, tornadoes, or severe weather. Clear and established protocols are designed to address these potential events. Fire drills are completed regularly and staff/residents are made aware of what is required when a tornado or severe weather occurs. All efforts are proactive in nature to deal with any of these impending threats.
Issues with Residents
Residents are assessed prior to admission for appropriateness. We will not admit a child or teen that we feel may be a risk to another resident. See admission criteria (including exclusionary criteria). There are measures in place to deal with a resident that goes AWOL or runs away from the school or home. The first priority is finding the child/teen. We immediately call the local authorities/police to make them aware that a resident is missing. We will make the parent/s aware of what is occurring. We will do our own exhaustive search and do everything possible to find the missing resident. Unfortunately, any resident that runs away is subject to immediate removal from the program. Promise Village holds no liability regarding a choice that a resident may make to go AWOL. Fortunately, in all of our years of operation, we have had very few residents that have chosen to leave in this way. We ask them, upon admission, to remain open about their feelings and to communicate with us if they are feeling like they want to leave/run. Most residents understand that we are here to help them and not to punish them, but to support them in any way possible. The mutual respect is typically highly regarded. If a resident is unchangingly disruptive to the milieu and ultimately, after significant intervention/s, is unwilling to cooperate with the program, a determination may be made that a discharge is necessary. We know that as hopeful that the parents and we are that a child/teen is ready to make the necessary changes to improve their life, sometimes they will not move therapeutically. However uncommon as they may be…in these instances, a discharge may be warranted.
Some programs encourage the use of transport services with their child/teen who is resistant to going to a program and must be “strong-armed” to get them there. We are not in favor of this practice. We feel that it sets us up for a fight and that we become the “bad” guys. This is not the position we want to be in when we are in need of establishing a trusting relationship with the child/teen to be successful. We will discuss other options with a parent who has a child/teen that they feel will not be willing to come to our program.