Enrollment Process


Cookson Hills places high value on family partnership. The following characteristics describe families looking to partner with Cookson Hills.

Families who are:

  • Having difficulty meeting the needs of your child age 5 to 17
  • Desiring to keep a sibling group together in the same location
  • Committed to following a Plan of Care and maintaining involvement (as able) with your child
  • Willing to remain committed to long term placement and allowing your child to complete each school year
  • Able to qualify for services based on the ENROLLMENT CRITERIA.

A Day in the Life of a Student at Cookson Hills.


We invite you to financially support your child to the degree that you did while the child was living in your home. We ask families to:

• Provide medical insurance that works in Oklahoma
• Pay for counseling services each month if not covered by insurance
• Maintain a special account with Cookson for child’s basic needs (i.e. haircut, hygiene)

However, no child is turned away because of an inability to contribute financially. 


If your child meets our enrollment criteria and you are interested in placing your child at Cookson Hills, please fill out the application below to take your next step.

If your child does not qualify for services based on the criteria above, please visit our referral list for additional resources.

STEP 1: Enrollment Application

This 20 minute survey helps us understand how we can best help.

STEP 2: Enrollment Phone Call

This 30 minute phone call helps to clarify any questions from the Enrollment Application.

STEP 3: Family Interview

This 3 hour on-site visit helps you see where your child will be living and helps us complete any remaining assessments.

STEP 4: Enrollment Day

When all assessments are completed and required documents returned, we set the date for enrolling.

Start Application


A Mother's Journey of Hope

"...how could I leave my son with strangers? How could others help him more than his own mother?"


My First 30 Days

"At first, I was extremely nervous... but my house sisters and brothers really made me feel at home."


My Story of Hope – Bri

"What I had been doing before Cookson Hills was affecting my future... I had to change; I needed to grow up... people here helped me want that for myself."

CHCS considers students who have at least one of the following criteria for enrollment:

• Lack a safe and stable home environment
• Are living in single parent, adoption, grandparent, or other family member household
• Have experienced abuse, neglect, or other traumatic experiences
• Have low income or live in impoverished circumstances
• Are beginning to make unhealthy behavior choices or poor peer group
• Struggle with school due to home, school, or community issues

CHCS provides basic care for students who need safety, structure, and stability. CHCS is not able to provide care for the following circumstances:

• Chronic anti-social behavior that leads to serious aggressive behavior, inability to function in school,
significant emotional dysregulation, or significant substance use
• Severe psychiatric disorders, such as schizophrenia, personality disorder, conduct disorder, oppositional
defiant disorder (ODD), bipolar disorder, disruptive mood dysregulation disorder (DMDD),
or intermittent explosive disorder (IED)
• Medical conditions such as epilepsy, diabetes, severe food allergies requiring unique diets, physical disabilities
that limit full functioning of programming.
• Severe learning disabilities (Students need to be able to function on their own in a classroom)
• Unsafe sexual misconduct, such as a sexual perpetrator, or voyeurism
• Multiple placements in hospitals, inpatient facilities, residential treatment centers, or similar facilities
• Placement in Juvenile Detention

If your child does not qualify for services based on the criteria above, please visit our referral list for additional resources.

Next Steps


How old are the children cared for by Cookson Hills? How long can they stay?
Cookson Hills cares for children in residential care between the ages of 5 and 17. Long term placement is desired, working with students towards graduation.

What are the costs to have my child at Cookson Hills?
Families are expected to:
• Provide medical insurance that works in Oklahoma
• Pay for counseling services each month if not covered by insurance
• Maintain a special account with Cookson for child’s basic needs (i.e. haircut, hygiene)

How often do I get contact with my child? When can I visit?Families contact their student twice a month with scheduled phone calls. A Visit Calendar is published at the start of each school year based on the year-round school rhythm. Typically, families receive an overnight weekend visit during each 6-week school term and can choose a 5-day visit during school break weeks. Thanksgiving and Christmas visits are also scheduled.

What kind of updates will I receive about my child’s care and experiences?
Families primarily receive communication from their Cookson Hills Social Worker, including report cards, medical updates, scheduling visits, and significant behavior issues. Families are also encouraged to speak with Houseparents during phone calls to learn about their child’s experiences and family events.

Is your school accredited, and are the credits transferable to the college of their choice?
Yes, credits are transferable to college. Our school is accredited by the Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI) and AdvancedED.

Are the counselors licensed? 
Yes, our counselors are licensed professional counselors who use a Christian viewpoint in sessions. From time to time, a graduate intern may be utilized from a nearby university.

How do you discipline students?
We use a Love & Logic approach to parenting, allowing students to experience the natural and logical consequences of their decisions using empathy and not anger. Students are expected to “make it right” with others when necessary. Houseparents seek to maintain relationship when discipline occurs.

What does structure look like in a big family?
All of our homes use structure as a parenting tool to assist their group of students towards a successful path. Houseparents use structure in a way that fits their personality and parenting style. Students have a general daily routine to follow and clear expectations of desired and undesired behavior. 

Do the houseparents have training?
Houseparents receive a minimum of 24 hours of training each year. Houseparents receive informal training with their social worker each week, going over strategies to help meet the individual needs of each student in their care.

What boundaries do have with technology and internet use?
Students may have an MP3 player or other handheld gaming device as long as it does not connect to the internet. We do not allow students to have cell phones or any personal device that connects to the internet. Internet use is supervised and primarily used for school purposes. Seniors can earn the privilege to use email and Facebook.