Parent FAQ's

Questions and Answers for Parents of Teens in Crisis:

Q: How can I talk my child into staying there?
A: We suggest that you and your child come and take a tour of Hearts With A Mission.  Have him or her talk to a staff member and allow for any questions he or she may have. Let your child know that there are no locked doors at HWAM and that he or she can leave at any time (with program consequences, of course).

Q: What kinds of fees are involved?
A: Thanks to the generous support of our community and many contributing foundations, services provided to sheltered youth are free of charge.  Counseling services are provided, free-of-charge, during a youths stay at the shelter and for up to 30 days following a youth’s transition back home.  Thereafter, counseling is available on a sliding fee scale (per availability).

Q: Whom are you licensed by?
A: We are licensed by the Oregon Department of Human Service as a child caring agency providing temporary, emergency shelter and supportive services to runaway, homeless and transitional youth ages 10-17.

Q. How do I know my child is safe there?
Due to our state licensing, there are many rules and regulations that we are mandated to follow to ensure that vulnerable youth are safe and supervised. We have put our own policies and procedures into place to ensure your child’s safety as well. All of our employees and volunteers go through a background check process through DHS, we have a security/camera system in place to aid the staff in supervision of common areas on the premises, we are staffed 24/7, our graveyard shift does hourly bed checks, all youth have to sign in and sign out, visitors or callers are not allowed contact with youth unless they are on  an “approved caller” list. There are many more policies in place to aid in your child’s safety while staying at the shelter. Call us if you have more specific questions if you would like. We’d be happy to help.

Q. Can friends and family visit the shelter or take my child on outings while staying there?
Family and friends may visit the youth at the shelter with pre-approval by the Case Manager during visitation hours on the weekends between the hours of 1-6pm for a maximum of one hour. Other arrangements can be made ahead of time as well with Case Manager approval. Immediate family may visit youth throughout the week as long as staff is notified beforehand in the event the youth will be engaged in another activity.

Q:  How can I best support my youth?
A:  Set the right example.  Be a living day-to-day example of your values and standards.  Show the compassion, honesty, discipline and openness you want your children to have.  If you abuse drugs or alcohol, know that your kids are watching and what they observe may undercut your good intentions to keep them substance free.  Don’t smoke or allow smoking in your home.  Model non-violent behavior.  If you want young people to shun violence, you need to demonstrate how.  Listen to your child.  Have fun with your child.  It is okay to let them know you don’t have all the answers—but be sure they know you love them and that you will figure out the answers together.  HWAM can help.
Q: How do I build the foundation for a healthy teen and parent relationship?
A: Spend time with your kids, engaged in activities that suit their ages and interests. Shared experiences build a foundation of affection and trust that forms the basis for future communication. Use the time you have together for conversation, not confrontation. Read, watch TV or movies, and surf the internet together. Exercise or play sports as a family. Get involved in community service with your kids.  Help teens gain a sense of self-confidence.  Self-confidence is earned, not given. Give kids opportunities to learn skills and gain confidence. Offer praise for jobs well done, accentuate the positive, emphasize the things your children do right. If they fall short, suggest ways to improve; don’t criticize. Affection and respect will reinforce good behavior (and change bad) far more successfully than fear, criticism or shame.  Encourage your teens to get involved in fun, safe, fulfilling activities.  Help your children to identify their strengths, talents, and interests and to find opportunities in which these assets can be developed. Encourage them to volunteer in the community, join a youth group, or participate in arts or sports. It will give them a sense of accomplishment, connect them to positive peers and adult leaders, and – not least of all – keep them busy.

Q. Can my child receive any services or counseling if they do not stay here or after they leave the shelter?
Yes! Youth and families in need can receive counseling on a sliding-fee scale (based on income). Services such as educational support/tutoring, hygiene products and clothing are also available for youth not staying here. Youth that have also left HWAM  can continue to receive the same services.

Still Have Questions?
Give us a call.