Our Program

Hope House is not like a conventional “facility” but is instead a home where the “program” is a family-like group living environment; based in Christian principals and Biblical Truths. Boys and girls live in separate dorms and most of the staff live onsite in their private home.

All of the children at Hope House are adopted and have social, emotional and neurological impairments as a result of early childhood trauma, abuse and/or neglect and therefore struggle with attachment along with other types of mental health issues including, but not limited to, PTSD, Bipolar, Depression, Asperger’s, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, etc. All mental health services are contracted through local providers. Many of our children come from orphanages from other countries (Russia, Romania, Liberia, Brazil, China, Vietnam, Cambodia, etc.)

The early child hood trauma these children have experienced has interfered in the child’s ability to form positive relationships in their adopted homes. Often children with attachment struggles perceive and respond to the primary care-giver (usually the adoptive mother) as the enemy; a threat to his/her well-being. This sets the tone and blueprint for all future interactions with that parent and family as well as other relationships. As these children mature, they often become increasing defiant, abusive and often self-harming. Their brains are stuck in fight-flight-freeze mode. They have tremendous difficulty identifying and expressing emotions. There is often a clear lack of empathy and an outrageous sense of entitlement. They often lie, steal, cheat and horde. Their rage, belligerence, defiance and aggression are manifestations of an internalized resentment and anger over a frustrated need for security and the inability to trust adults and authority figures.

While they may be extremely charming to strangers, well behaved at school and cooperative at church their families are truly under-siege as they often pit parent against parent or school and authorities against their parents. Families are spiritually, emotionally and financially broken as they endure the daily battle to reach and love their child.

The child pushes back, resists and rebels against strong, controlling and/or reasonably strict parenting styles. On an unconscious level the child feels they can take care of themselves (because they had to in the orphanage, on the street, in the home) and do not need parenting. They often feel like they cannot breathe or be themselves. They often feel like a round peg being forced to fit into a square hole.

Parents, and siblings alike, are often criticized and alienated from their support systems. They are alone, embarrassed and often too afraid to close their eyes and feels they need to put locks on their bedroom doors at night. Many children are “sent back” or placed into foster care or other facilities only to be further traumatized. After years of counseling, in home services and treatment programs some parents decide to seek out of placement like Hope House to care for their children.

At Hope House daily life is very structured and planned in way that it is constantly supporting, guiding and reinforcing our youth’s ability to heal while learning daily living skills. Still, youth can become quite defiant, disruptive and at times combative. For disruptive or inappropriate behaviors we focus on reinforcing natural consequences with compassion rather than punishments. For aggressive or assaultive behaviors the staff are trained in the Positive Control System (PCS) which includes mostly verbal strategies however if needed physical restraint is used when it is necessary to keep the child and/or others safe.

Children are required to stay at Hope House for at least eighteen months. Many however stay 3-5 years. During this time they will begin to develop healthy attachments and are provided with the opportunity to develop trusting relationships which ultimately facilitates healing, self-control, and better daily functioning. Youth and parents/guardians are given the opportunity to have monthly phone calls and onsite and offsite visit as per our visitation policy. Parents are required to visit their child at least annually. Some children are able to begin the mutual process of repairing and restoring their relationship with their adoptive families but most will never return to live in their adoptive home. As per Hope House policy youth living at Hope House are not available for adoption.

Children attend Hope Christian Academy (HCA), a private, accredited school located onsite. All students receive an Individual Education Plan (IEP) to address their specific academic, behavioral, and/or social needs in school. The school also has a vibrant athletic program which includes boys’ & girls’ basketball, flag football for boys, volleyball for girls, and co-ed softball.

One of the greatest joys of working at Hope House is the fact that the staff are encouraged to share their faith in Christ with the children. Spirituality plays a very important role in the healing process. Religious services and education are provided through the onsite Chapel of Hope. We encourage parents/guardians to read the Chapel of Hope Statement of Faith. The Hope House family attends church for worship together each Sunday and Wednesday evening. Each staff member has a personal relationship with Christ and is expected to model this through their life and daily interactions.

As with all Hope House family members the children are encouraged to live out each day according to the principals of found in the Holy Bible. While Hope House does not require any child to adhere to any set of doctrines or beliefs, we do require respectful, appropriate behavior at all Hope House functions, including all religious services.

When youth reach their 18th birthday and depending on their conduct and level of emotional and cognitive functioning they might invite youth to stay at Hope House and continue to be an active member of the Hope House family. They are able to finish high school if needed and/or gain independent living skills and work towards their vocational and employment goals up to age 23.