Category Archives: Family tips

Our guiding values

Girls2The following seven values guide all decisions and actions of Hearts & Homes for Youth:

  1. Family is the best support system and the root of our identities. We care for our youth in a stable, disciplined, nurturing space, doing all that we can to provide a homelike environment and family while they are in our care. We also provide family therapy, in addition to individual and group therapy, to help build relationships with immediate or extended family members.  Sometimes family relationships are built with foster parents or with friends – the important thing is that the youth understand they have a support system when they leave our care.
  2. Community is fundamental to our happiness, motivation, and well-being. It provides us with a sense of belonging, a sense of responsibility, and the assurance of support when we are in need. We help the youth develop a sense of community through group activities, outings, and therapy. We help the youth understand their place in the community such as through volunteer activities, getting them into school, getting them into the workforce, and inviting mentors and volunteers to spend time with the youth.
  3. Dignity, the sense of pride in oneself, is critical to the ability of the youth in our care to get themselves back on their feet and back on the right track. Activities such as the Princess Party and Kings of Style Party are examples of how we help the youth develop their dignity but it is a priority every day, in every interaction.
  4. Fairness in the way our youth are treated is important because they are building an understanding of their place in the community and they need to realize that they have the same rights and obligations as everyone else.
  5. Opportunities for the youth to engage in cultural, educational, recreational, vocational, and social activities are character building experiences that are fundamental to self discovery and success in life.
  6. Respect is critical to the development of one’s self esteem, self confidence, and self worth as well to their ability to be respectful in kind.
  7. Trust is earned; we work to earn the trust from our youth, so they believe that we have their best interests at heart. In turn, we trust that the youth will become ever more dedicated to themselves and their futures.

The value of reading together

reading-across-americaReading is a fundamental tool to function in society and a vital skill to succeed in school and the workplace. Reading is one of the ways we learn and discover. At Hearts & Homes, we believe reading together is a great way to spend time with your kids, support their development, and build a stronger relationship.

Reading to toddler or preschool-age children, especially between the ages of two and five, is critical for their development. Reading to your kids can help them develop basic speech skills, communication skills, logical reasoning skills, ability to concentrate, memory retention, and a higher aptitude for learning.

The importance and benefits of reading do not end. Throughout our lives, reading fosters our imagination, introduces us to new ideas, and empowers us.

Reading is good and it is a great way to spend time with your kids. We suggest you that ask your son or daughter what they are reading, or ask them what they think would be a great book to read. After reading the same book, you can discuss the story, the characters, the issues that came up, and how the characters dealt with challenges.

Reading books with your kids is an opportunity to spend time together, enjoy each other’s company, have something to talk about, develop a ritual, and maintain open lines of communication while your kids grow up.

Check out the links below to read about family book clubs and to learn more about how you can start your own group!