When a family is looking at Cookson Hills as a possibility they usually have many questions. Sarah Curry and Lauren Hard answer our most frequently asked questions (FAQs). This is the video (and transcript) of these prospective family FAQs.
Lauren: Hi. I am Lauren Hard, and this is Sarah Curry. We are your Storytelling Group here at Cookson Hills. We know that you guys have a lot of questions, so we’re here today to answer some of those.
Are you ready?
Sarah: I hope so.
Lauren: Alright. So Sally from Tulsa says,
Sarah: Ok, So it’s really close to Arkansas. However, it’s not quite there. We are not in the part of Oklahoma where the winds come sweeping down the planes either. We are in the foothills of the Ozark Mountains. It’s a very beautiful area but pretty remote.
Lauren: So it’s quite rural.
Sarah: Absolutely, quite rural, yes.
Lauren: Jeff from Nevada says,
Sarah: Kids come to Cookson Hills for all kinds of reasons. Sometimes it’s because of abuse or neglect that they’ve gone through. Almost all of the kids have gone through some kind of trauma. Occasionally, it’s a loss of a parent, or possibly it’s homelessness. Sometimes, they just had a guardian who was maybe a grandparent or an extended relative, and they weren’t able to keep up with the young child anymore. There are lots of different reasons why kids come here.
Lauren: We see this question a lot.
Sarah: Our enrollment process does take some time, and typically it’s about 4 to 6 weeks. We understand that there are a lot of urgent and crisis situations, but we do take time to work with each situation. We invite you to fill out an application today to get your process started, but it will also include you coming onto campus at some point with your child so that they’re able to see what Cookson Hills is and experience it before they just move here. It is a really big life change, and we want to respect that for the kids.
Sarah: No, we do not have an application deadline. We accept students all year round, so the sooner you can get that application filled out ,the sooner your student will likely be able to join us.
Lauren: Gill from California says,
Sarah: Well, that depends, Gill. We know that we’re not able to help in every situation. For instance, if your child has severe disorders, then we know they’re not going to be a very good fit for our program here. Those could include severe learning disorders, severe medical conditions, severe mental health issues, or if they’ve been in juvenile detention. But if you go to the enrollment page on our website, then we will be able to direct you to places that will be able to work with you.
Lauren: So even if my child won’t be able to come to Cookson Hills you’ll help point me in the right direction.
Sarah: Yes, We’ll do our best.
Sarah: We know the longer a kid can stay with us, the better-off they’re likely to do in the long run. So we ask for two years. Now, if they finish these two years and it’s looking great, and it’s still the right situation for your family, then we would invite them to stay with us until they graduate.
Lauren: Sarah from North Carolina says,
Sarah: So, kind of all of us at Cookson Hills. We’re all in this in this together. However, specifically, they will be placed into a home with a married houseparent couple. They are trained childcare professionals who love Jesus and want to see your child succeed. They’ll be living in this home in a family environment. We have two separate halls – one for boys to stay in and one for Girls. The largest amount of kids that would be in the house is 10. They will just have this, kind of, normal family experience to help them learn a better way
Lauren: Tom from Virginia says,
Sarah: So some people call this year-round, other people call it balanced. We call it balanced here. It means that our kids are in school for six weeks, and then they take two weeks off. Then they go back for another six weeks. This happens all school year until we get to the summer, where they get a five-week break.
Sarah: It does cost something. Absolutely. In fact, it costs about 2.5 to 2.8 million somethings to operate this place. However, there is no catch to it. If you are able to pay something financially, then we invite you to do that. Absolutely. But we will never turn away a child because of the family’s inability to pay. We do ask that the child have insurance that can work within the state of Oklahoma
Lauren: “So it costs 2.8 million somethings to run Cookson Hills, and you don’t require the parents to pay.
Sarah: We are funded by individuals, churches, and private foundations around the nation. There are people everywhere who want to see your child write a better story and have a different path forward. Those are the people who make this place operate. We’re incredibly thankful for that. Moreover, we do not rely on Government funding. It is just people who want to see this world as a better place.
Lauren: Well, that’s all the questions we have for today. Again, my name is Lauren Hard, and this is Sarah Curry, and we are your Storytelling Group.