Becoming an Empowered Parent

How We Started.... back in 2008

Jul 28, 2023

The whole reason New Hope was created was so there was a better support system for parents.

So you don’t have to feel alone.  

When our first building was rented, I didn’t have any clients and hadn’t even met LauraLee yet.  (Although I met her a week before I ‘opened’ and she joined me that next year.) 

Before New Hope, I did respite.  The first few years, it was local clients referred by therapists.  Then my last few years, it was all families from out of state.  They would fly to my house, drop off a kid - stay for a few hours and then fly back home.  We would chat every day on the phone.  Then in a few weeks, when I had made progress with their child, they would fly back. They'd spend a few days training and fly back home. 

I LOVED it.  And I got really good at it.  It was really easy for me, and as the years went on, it got both easier and harder.

Easier because I could see faster what approach would be the fastest.  And harder because I rarely got days off, traveling was really hard, and the biggest thing….

Over the years I got to see a lot of failure.  Or what I thought was failure.  I did respite for 8 years, and everyone of those kids ended up in out of home placements, except 2 kids that were in the same family.

The difference with that family?  They would come out to my house from California every 3-6 months.  They would stay at my house for a week and I would get to teach and train.  I loved their commitment to their family and their kids.  And they were so easy to bring into our home.   

I saw that overall, respite was a great solution for in the moment crisis, but for long term help, it wasn’t a solution - more of a quick fix or a bandaid.  I realized that my biggest love was seeing the kids be able to stay in their homes and for the family to thrive.  Whether things with their kids were calm or in crisis.  I wanted to help people see there is always a way to thrive

I took a year off from doing respite.  Just kind of thinking what would help families the most....  And that was how New Hope was born.

It was scary.  I had everyone telling me I couldn’t do it.  I couldn’t do it alone.  I couldn’t do it without a nurse.  I couldn’t do it without a case worker.  I couldn’t do it because I wasn’t a business person and on and on.  

And I agreed.  I had all of those same self doubts. But the feeling just got stronger and stronger and I knew I needed to take the leap.  

New Hope in my mind was never started to be a school.  Which is funny because one morning I woke up and the name, New Hope ACADEMY was in my head.  Which should have clued me in that it was going to be a school :).  But it didn’t.  In my mind it was going to be a community center type of program.  Like a rec center, but for families in crisis.  You could drop off in crisis, but then you also could put in some hours when you weren’t in crisis to help out. 

It was a great concept.  However, what I didn’t think about was that families in crisis have NOTHING left to give.  And don’t want to deal with anything scarier than the scary they already know.  No one wanted to put in hours haha.  I quickly caught on to that and 100% understood!  

So it evolved.  

I have always had a love for academics.  And doing academics with the kids that came to my house always gave me a great gauge of their mood and their abilities that day.  As we know both of those can change, not only day to day, but also many times a day!  It’s also great to just practice basic academic skills over and over.   When you are working with trauma or FASD repetition is especially KEY!

Even in respite, I often used academics as restitution, or a way to earn extra activity time.  

So it was natural as New Hope started, that even though I didn’t think of it as a school, I still did academics each day.

As we got going with our licensing with the city, it became important to choose a category.  Day care, private school, day treatment, etc.  Each had their different requirements and private school just made the most sense.  The biggest benefit to that classification for us has come in the form of the Carson Smith Scholarship and made us so grateful that that was the route we chose. 

So now we are a thriving Private School.  We have 45 students this year.  We love it.  We have the most amazing staff and more service missionaries than we can count!  We have been so blessed this year! 

As we have gotten busier and busier, we feel like the home and parenting piece of the puzzle has gotten pushed to the back burner.  So many other details needed to be taken care of each day.  

The parenting piece is SO HARD!   I think it’s about as sensitive and triggering a subject that you can talk about.  Especially with hard to parent kids.  

But it’s also a passion of ours and a love and we are committed to making it a priority!

If you want in on our parenting series reach out! 

If you have a friend that wants to do it with you, even better! 

Email us or sign up for the different parenting class options on our website!