What is the Host Homes Program?
The Host Home program provides for temporary emergency shelter care for children between the ages of seven and seventeen through caring volunteer Host Home families in the community. What makes Host Homes unique is that placement is voluntary on the part of the parent(s), the child, and the Host Home family. In this program, the youth can stay with the Host Home family for up to 21 days.
When do Youth and Families seek Host Homes?
Temporary placement in the Host Homes program helps provide families with time to resolve conflicts and problems. When a situation has become more than a youth or family can immediately deal with, Host Homes provides a reprieve to the family that allows them time to seek out resources and guidance in resolving the situation.
Here is an example of the program at work:
A school counselor made an emergency call to the crisis line on behalf of a teenage girl. The student was very upset and refused to go home. She was having problems with her parents, especially her mother. The Safe Place staff called her parents and they agreed to meet that evening. After explaining the Host Homes program, the girl and her parents agreed that their family needed a break. The girl went to stay in a Host Home for a few days. The family wanted counseling to help resolve the situations they were facing. After several individual counseling sessions and two family sessions, the girl and her parents came to a workable compromise and were ready to reunite as a family.
What is expected of a Youth while at the Host Home?
- The youth is expected to participate in all family activities.
- The youth is expected to follow house rules and share in household chores.
- The youth will follow guidelines established by the Host Homes Program.
- All decisions regarding activities and discipline for the youth are to be made by the Host Home Coordinator.
What are the requirements to be a Host Home?
A Host Home family must be willing to open its doors and heart to a youth in need. The family must be able to ensure that the youth will be safe, warm and fed while staying at the Host Home. A Host Home family must also be willing to provide guidance and a listening ear to the youth but must not attempt to counsel the youth. The Host Home family must also have the ability to host 1 to 3 youths in a 12-month period and be willing to work with the Host Homes staff.
If you are interested in learning more about the Host Home family opportunity, contact Dawn LaPlante.