Screening – If you would like to be considered for placement, please read the following information and answer the 10 questions at the end.
Congratulations! You are being a considered a candidate for the Haag Home for Boys. “Haag” is the name of the owner of the program, Jeff Haag. We are a private (non-government) program funded by OYA. We are “hands-off” facility, meaning staff are not allowed to use physical interventions. It is an open campus, meaning the doors are not locked and the campus is not closed.
You made it this far! I am sure it has been a long journey. Are you ready for your next step?
Be warned: this next step is designed to be more challenging, not easier, than the last and to test the knowledge and skills you have acquired to this point. If you believe you are ready for the next step, then continue reading. We are committed to helping you in this next step by challenging your thinking, holding you accountable and helping you along the way if you are willing to be open to feedback and changing unwanted behaviors, thinking, attitudes, values and beliefs.
The Haag Home for Boys in an independent living program. To be more specific, the Haag Home is designed to train you to be independent. Many youth arrive at the Haag Home with the misunderstanding that all that is expected of them is to “get a job and save $2,500”, or to get their diploma and save money. While these are common objectives, they are not the foundation of this program. Having a good work ethic and an education are good goals, but they are only a couple of the ones that will be in your service plan when you arrive.
First let’s clear up some common misconceptions of youth arriving from a facility:
There are groups.
There is supervision.
There will be counseling requirements.
Some youth have entered our program expecting to have their own living space, their own key and the freedom to come and go as they please. While there are steps to earn these things, they do not happen until a youth completes the first portion of our program.
While we are an independent living program, we are in fact educating individuals to live interdependently. This means living independently within a system and adapting to the culture of that system. Systems and laws are in place to protect the common rights of all individuals living within that culture. An example of this is sharing your space with other individuals and having the respect to clean up your own space and keep your clothes washed, etc. It is recognizing that your actions affect others and vice versa.
A culture is any group that shares a common belief system. You will have responsibilities, not only to yourself, but to the collective community at the Haag Home and its extended network. Youth that come here with an “I only do me” mentality are not ready to be successful in the cooperative culture that is required to live with others. In order to have a sober, healthy living environment, it is necessary to have transparency and openness. Keeping secrets, hiding contraband, lying, etc. are all seeds for criminal behavior.
Our top priority is that youth that are returning to the community remain crime-free. In order for this to happen, youth must be drug and alcohol free, so youth can make the most responsible, sober decisions.
The number one reason why youth are not successful in the program is due to drug and alcohol use. Youth fail to learn healthy coping strategies to their stress and negative emotions. Rather than become independent of addiction, many return to the crutch of using drugs to numb the pain of their past and present and their anxiety of the future. Failure to think clearly and learn healthy coping skills often promotes a return to antisocial thinking and a “me vs. the world (authority figures)” type of mentality. The Haag Home has multiple groups a day for youth that are not working, including: meditation, journaling, check-ins, physical exercise, job searching, modules (learning packets), Positive Youth Development, et al. to help combat boredom, stress and other negative emotions.
I have no doubt that the state facilities have provided the necessary treatment and tools to be successful in the community. The treatment groups you will receive here will continue to reinforce the same knowledge you received in the facilities. In the community you will be faced with an increase of high-risk opportunities to relapse or recidivate (commit new crimes). You will be asked to practice the skills you have learned and check in with staff about your successes and failures.
Privileges such as cell phone use, computer/internet use,
day visits (with and without supervision), and home visits are based on the
amount of sober days you maintain in the program and your ability to meet the
program’s expectations (meet skill building requirements, attending groups, et
al). Failure to remain sober or meet program’s weekly expectations will result
in fewer privileges.
Challenging or not complying with the rules should set off red flags, or warning signals, to the individual, the parole officer and the Haag Home that the individual is failing to adapt and not demonstrating success and is on track to return to criminal behavior. An inability to consistently meet standards (sobriety and compliance) will result in a 30-day notice to individual and JPPO that failure to change undesired behaviors will result in removal from the program.
Immediately upon entering the Haag Home you will be given an A-sheet (or orientation assignment). It is approximately a seven-day plan with objectives and deadlines.
It is apparent during this time period which youth can handle the freedom to structure their time and complete these activities on-time and which youth fail to be disciplined and to meet their deadlines. Each objective on the A-sheet is expected to be done on time and in seven days (or sooner). Some youth have taken up to three weeks to complete their assignments. A youth must have the ability to focus on assignments that require reading and writing.
The first 30 days are used to assess if the youth is a good candidate for the program.
The most powerful motivating factor we have as a program is your desire to earn your freedom. Most youth interpret freedom as “off papers”. To reach this destination, young men need to develop a mission or purpose that keeps them drug and alcohol free and crime free.
The Haag Home provides structured living, teaches healthy coping skills with an opportunity for youth to prove they can adapt and demonstrate an ability to practice these skills on their own and conform to the laws of the community. When youth demonstrate these skills successfully, they have earned the right to be positive contributing members of society.
As you will discover, freedom is not the absence of laws, rules, authority or responsibilities. Freedom is learning that you are your own authority figure. By holding yourself accountable to the laws of our culture you become responsible for your freedom.
If you are accepted at the Haag Home, you will be asked to balance the responsibilities of everyday living with the stressors of everyday life. Many youth report that they chose to come here. While this may or may not be true in some cases, please understand that once you choose to come here, you are accepting the program as it is and the conditions we have. If you commit to our program, we will commit to helping you graduate the program and beyond.
Please Answer the following 10 Questions and submit with any additional information you would like to have considered.
I have read, understood and agree to the details in this mod:
Signature: ____________________________ Date: _________________________