Coyote Hill’s program is organized around five focused areas of education and training. Combined together, they seek to serve the whole child with their development and create cycles of success. Success as an individual, and future success as a parent, employee and community member.
The average child placed at Coyote Hill has already been through at least two or three placements and experienced the loss of multiple parental figures before he/she even arrives on our doorstep. In extreme situations, a child can have upwards of 12 past placements. This lack of stability is highly detrimental to a child’s development. Coyote Hill mitigates the negative effects by creating an atmosphere of predictability, support, structure, and love. Consistency and structure are articulated through daily routines, family responsibilities, and predictability in their interactions with their Home Parents. Stability is created through our Success for Life program and the efforts of our Home Parents.
The Success for Life program provides daily tutoring, tailored to the need of each school-age child at Coyote Hill. These sessions are a minimum of one hour after school, with qualified volunteers and staff. Tutoring is also scheduled during summer break, in our Education Center. Our volunteer tutors serve as support for the learning that goes on during the school day and also as mentors and role models. Many of the children who arrive at Coyote Hill are behind academically. The goal of tutoring is to help the child reach or exceed his/her grade level, while avoiding being overwhelmed. We strive to instill a love of learning.
All youth at Coyote Hill are immediately started in the Life Skills Program. Our children often lack basic life skills when they arrive. Developing appropriate ways to express anger, accepting “no” answers from authority figures, or treating others’ belongings with respect and care are integral skills for a child’s future success. Practical life skills such as learning to do laundry, cleaning, hygiene and cooking are also included. This program teaches youth basic skills, in accordance with their age, and involves setting goals for each child. Staff and volunteers seek to equip and encourage our children to meet their goals and celebrate with them whenever they are met.
The Success for Life program helps our teens and preteens develop character and a work ethic through our Vocational Skills programming. Only teenagers and preteens can apply for this voluntary vocational program. During the construction of The Petersheim Home, youth also have the opportunity to participate in our Youth Apprenticeship Program.
In the Vocational Skills program, youth work on-site, earning a weekly paycheck in a variety of areas such as landscaping, lawn maintenance, barn management, horsemanship, welding, mechanical maintenance, and housekeeping. They learn important lessons, such as the importance of showing up on time, how to respond to instruction, and how to do both menial and meaningful work with a positive attitude–all characteristics that make for good future employees. Our Vocational Skills program is a grace-filled work position. The end goal is that our youth will learn the value of a dollar and the skills necessary to acquire their first part-time job by the time they become an older teen, nearing independence.
In addition to the Vocational Skills program, the Success for Life program also has an Independent Living Skills component aimed at the teen and preteen age group. The Independent Living Skills program bridges the gap between dependent and independent living. Each teenager has a treatment plan that includes goals such as, but not limited to: filling out job and college applications, maintaining employment, balancing a bank account, purchasing a vehicle and insurance, preparing meals, financial planning, travel arrangements, and washing laundry each week. Through participation in the Independent Living Program, at-risk youth at Coyote Hill will gain life, educational, and employment skills that will help them successfully navigate the transition from care within the Department of Social Services to a successful, independent life outside it.