Families

Fresh Hope operates on 5 core values with FAMILY being one of our main focuses.  We understand that is a difficult time for all involved but ask for your patience and faith in us as well as your loved one.  We try and work closely with families and our caseworkers and counsellors will do their best to liase with you while also trying to respect the wishes of our clients.

Fresh Hope is made up of a large extended family. This helps them to consider the needs and responsibilities of the family as a whole and not just themselves as an individual. It also creates a sense of belonging, of being loved unconditionally and honestly. An important aspect covered in living within the Fresh Hope family and therapeutic community is dealing with frustrations arising with living in a family based community and how to develop effective conflict resolution skills.

Where it is safe to do so, mothers are reunited with their family of origin through a gradual process, initially being supervised while the new boundaries of the relationship are established and past hurts by either party are addressed. For mothers who have come from 2nd, 3rd or 4th generational substance abuse, providing a different framework of family is essential in helping to break the cycle of addiction. Family provides a sense of identity, and helps them to understand that they are part of something bigger than themselves. It also provides a framework of support and a forum for accountability and authenticity which is essential in addressing the core issues each individual is addressing.

By being accepted, welcomed and unconditionally loved within a family, builds self-worth and the confidence to be “worthy” of being loved.

Below are guidelines & expectations of our families, friends & fathers so you know and have more of an understanding.

Guidelines for Family and Friends of Residents in Fresh Hope.

In a very real sense, residents on the programme have chosen to relegate a level of control of their lives to the staff who run the programme. They do this in order to learn how to regain control of their lives. Co-operation on the part of family members is a strong influencing factor for their successful recovery.

Our goal where possible, is to build strong family relationships and this requires a significant level of co-operation on family members to respect Fresh Hope guidelines and policies. Fresh Hope offers all family and friends the 6 week Resident Family Support Program available once the resident is in stage 3.

These policies are not negotiable but can be flexible according to the progress of residents in the programme. For example; on special occasions such as a birthday party, the visits may be able to continue for three hours instead of the stated two hour visit.

It is important for families and friends to know that the guidelines for this programme have been formulated not only through fifteen years of operation but also by adhering to the guidelines of the Australian Therapeutic Association.

Fresh Hope Guidelines:

Phone Calls: These are to be organised with Caseworker

Stage 1 – No phone contact
Stage 2 – Supervised phone calls (as organised for specified times)
Stage 3 – Progress of residents and family relationships taken into account before unsupervised phone calls are permitted (within specified times). Until client is ready to have a mobile phone.
Phone calls with children are supervised initially and gradually will be less supervised.

Times for Phone Contact:

Times are to be worked out with a caseworker.

Children have supervised contact with other members of their families e.g. other parent, grandparents, siblings until supervision is not required anymore.

Correspondence (Letters):

Stage 1 & 2 – all correspondence is monitored by counsellors.

Physical Contact (visits)

Stage 1 – no visits
Stage 2 & Stage 3 – 1st visit two hours
2nd visit (monthly) – two hours
3rd visit (monthly) – three hours
Visits can then progress to fortnightly if both parties agree and are progressing in healthy relationships.

Outings:

Stage 3 – With family members:
Once good progress has been made with on site visits.
• 1st outing two hours
• 2nd outing 3 hours etc.
Home visits: These can be negotiated once the supporting family is working with The Family Support Programme during stage 3.

Conduct of family and friends during visits:

The visit must be kept positive nature and staff and other residents will be involved with family visits. At no time is a resident to leave the Fresh Hope family to be alone with a family member or friend.

No alcohol or addictive substances are permitted at Fresh Hope and anyone under the influence of the same will be asked to leave.

Gifts:

All gifts are to be given to staff to be checked for suitability.

As time and relationships progress and develop, the contact guidelines can be negotiated to give the resident more personal time with their family.

Guidelines for Fathers with children in Fresh Hope.

Fresh Hope Promotes the relationship between a father and his children and we will do everything we possibly can to encourage this. However we are also constricted by limited finances and limited staff. We ask that parents take this into account when arranging visits and phone calls. We have 5 mothers and often over ten children to speak to many fathers through the week.
Decision of time frames and how often children spend with their fathers is strictly between the children’s parents, the case worker is simply the communicator of messages and facilitator of times and travel plans.

Initially, in a very real sense, residents on the programme have chosen to relegate a level of control of their lives to the staff who run the programme. They do this in order to learn how to regain control of their lives. Co-operation on the part of family members is a strong influencing factor for their successful recovery.

Our goal where possible, is to build strong family relationships and this requires a significant level of co-operation on family members to respect Fresh Hope guidelines and policies. Fresh Hope offers all family and friends the 6 week Resident Family Support Program available once the resident is in stage 3.

I would also like to take the time to explain why we call each other by aunty and uncle and Nanals and Poppy. We come from a Maori background where it has been cultural to do so. We also feel it is disrespectful for children to call adults by their first name. Fresh Hope is run like a family (a therapeutic community) but this is NEVER to replace their family of origin. It is simply to give them some support during recovery.

The following policies are not negotiable but can be flexible according to the progress of residents in the programme. For example; on special occasions such as a birthday party, the visits may be able to continue for three hours instead of the stated two hour visit.

It is important for families and friends to know that the guidelines for this programme have been formulated through fifteen years of successful operation.

We are able to forward a reference letter of previous families who have found the resident family support program beneficial if you would like. We have also previously offered couples counselling with our staff counsellor.

More Information

For more information please check other sections of this site – a good starting place would be the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)