Cookson Hills has been in existence for 65 years this year. That’s something to celebrate and cheer on. But with every year that has come and gone, so have the ministry’s goals. Last year our goals were to serve 49 children for an average stay of 24 months, create a kindergarten class, and become a certified counseling center. It’s so exciting to see that we served 47 children who have been here, on average, for 25 months. We created, enrolled, and sustained a new Kindergarten class at CHCS. Also, we became an EAGALA certified counseling center, allowing us to provide Equine therapy.
For 2022, we want to focus on serving more children, partnering with a local ministry, and creating a better space for counseling our children. Our goals for this year are what follows:
Our five-year goal is to serve 80 kids at any given time. Now that we are effectively offering long-term care for our kids, we will begin focusing on increasing the number of kids we serve each year. To maintain our average length of stay, a counselor will continue enhancing our enrollment process. They will continue providing feedback on the appropriateness of placement. This feedback will help minimize the potential for early dismissal and disruption of students already in our care.
Our state-of-the-art K-12th grade school is the “Secret Sauce” of Cookson Hills. It offers our children a place to receive a quality Christian education and holistic care in a healing environment. We want to partner with Oaks Indian Mission to serve the children in their care. Much like Cookson Hills, the Oaks Indian Mission provides Native American children in need with a safe and stable environment to grow and mature in God’s love. Unfortunately, they do not have a school for their children and attend the public school in Oaks. We will serve more students in our school by partnering with them and providing more kids with a quality Christian education.
Currently, our children attend weekly therapy sessions in offices and conference rooms just off the library in our school. We want to provide our students with HIPPA certified counseling rooms that will allow them to feel safe to share whatever they need to with their counselor without feeling like what they say could be heard by other students standing right outside the door looking for a book. To do this, we need to raise $850,000 in addition to our regular operating funds to build an addition to our school that will be a place specially designed to provide counseling to our students.
With the attainment of these goals, we will be able to fulfill better our mission to provide home, school, and therapy to kids who are at-risk. Not only impacting their lives this year but for many, many years to come.