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BASICS ABOUT NEW MORNING QUESTIONS
Q. Is New Morning affiliated or part of any religious institution?
A. New Morning is not affiliated or part of any religious institution.
Q. When was New Morning founded?
A. The agency initially began when a group of people met in the basement of the Federated Church in early 1970. The primary issue of concern was that kids in town were obviously under the influence of drugs and no local resources existed to help. New Morning was incorporated in June 1972. New Morning responded to those issues and by 1976 had expanded its professional counseling services to help support youth with other issues (such as child abuse).
50 years New Morning has provided a safety net for some of our community’s most at-risk youth. Through all those years New Morning has demonstrated effective management and fiscal stability. We are audited every year and have always received positive audits.
WHOM DOES NEW MORNING HELP:
Q. What kind of youth do you help?
A. New Morning’s expertise is in working with children ages birth – 18 and their families. We work with children who have been victims of child abuse, domestic violence, and/or bullying; youth facing challenges with substance use/abuse, adjustment difficulties, fears, stress, family conflict, poor school performance, depression, ADHD, questions about sexual identity and/or suicidal thoughts; and youth who have run away from home, are couch surfing, have been kicked out of their homes, and/or can no longer take the stress of living at home. Basically, whatever issues that a young person is struggling with, New Morning has professional support that can help unless in our professional opinion the child needs the support of more urgent psychiatric care.
Q. Do you provide any services for adults?
A. Generally, New Morning focuses its services on youth. However, we know that sometimes parents need support too. New Morning helps new parents develop more close and effective bonds with their children. We can also, in some cases, provide counseling for adults when they are the parent/guardian of a child living with them. If we cannot help, we will refer an adult to more appropriate resources in the community.
Q. What are the qualifications of New Morning’s counselors?
A. New Morning clinical staff members include: Licensed Clinical Social Workers, Marriage and Family Therapists, Associate Social Workers, Marriage and Family Therapist Interns, and Clinical Psychologist Interns. Several of our staff have worked for our agency for over 10 years and all staff is among the highest skilled and best-trained therapists in the county specializing in working with young people and their families.
Q. How many youths do you serve each year?
A. Annually, we serve approximately 400-500 youth in our counseling programs and approximately 175 youth through our Emergency Shelter. 400 Families through Latino Outreach.
Q. How long has New Morning provided shelter services?
A. In 1976 the State Legislature passed a law that refined the status of runaway and homeless youth. The most significant change was that runaway and homeless youth who had not committed any crime could no longer be locked up in juvenile hall. In response to this New Morning operated a program utilizing volunteer community members to open their homes on a temporary/crisis basis to these young people. Responding to a community panel that convened in 1989, New Morning gathered funding and donations and opened its permanent emergency youth shelter in December 1991.
Q. How many kids can stay at the shelter?
A. New Morning’s shelter has both a girls and boys wing with 6 bedrooms and 2 beds per room. We are able to house up to house 12 children between the ages of 6 – up to the age 18 at any time.
Q. Are there any ‘entry requirements’ to the shelter?
A. Admittance to the shelter is voluntary, but we do expect all youth to follow a set of house expectations that are designed to ensure that all youth in the house are safe and well protected. Our shelter is licensed to house children age 6 – 17. Children who are wanted by law enforcement for a criminal offense are not allowed admittance into the shelter.
Q. Can law enforcement take a youth to the shelter at a parent’s request?
A. The youth must want to come. Parents can’t force their child, against their will, to stay there. The shelter is not a form of punishment nor is it a locked facility.
Q. How long do kids stay in the shelter?
A. The average length of stay at the shelter is 9 days, but the range can be 21 days.
Q. How do kids get to the shelter?
A. Youth arrive at the shelter through a variety of means. Some are self-referred (they have heard about the shelter and just show up); some are referred by friends; some are referred and brought to the shelter by other caring adults who have heard what the children are living through; some are picked up by law enforcement and brought to the shelter; some are brought to the shelter from Child Protective Services who might have intervened in a family situation that was determined to be harmful to the child’s well-being, and some are brought by parents when all in the family recognize a “time out” in a neutral and safe environment is best for all.
Q. How are sheltered kids linked to their school?
A. One of our top priorities is to help children stay linked with their school. In most cases, the school will arrange transportation or directly provide transportation to help get kids to and from school. When a child is unable to physically attend school, we ensure that homework and school assignments are sent to the child at the shelter so they can keep caught up. Every school night the shelter holds provides study time when the youth attend to school work. Often we see that when youth are staying in a stable environment their school grades improve sharply.
Q. What exactly happens to a child while they are at the shelter?
A. Every youth participates in an intake session with a shelter staff upon arrival to the shelter so that we can determine what types of services they most need to become stable. Youth are supervised 24 hours/day by paid-awake Youth Behavioral Specialists. Some of the “case management” services they may receive include linking them with a New Morning counselor or if they have one, their own counselor to help them and their family resolve the issues that lead to the child’s stay at the shelter; helping them connect to Social Services, Public Health, Marshall Hospital, CASA or other services they may need, and managing any required medications. While at the shelter the kids also become part of the ‘shelter family’ meaning that each youth is expected to contribute to the daily functioning of the shelter. Youth participate in meal planning, preparation, and clean-up; they help tidy up the house and participate in Saturday “double-scrubs,” they also develop the shelter calendar that outlines recreational activities for kids in the shelter, and everyone participates in a family meal where all sit together eating and talking about their day.
Q. Are children forced to stay?
A. New Morning is not a ‘lock-down’ facility. There are no bars or locks that keep kids from leaving. Although a few youths do leave on their own, the shelter’s strength is with engaging kids. We successfully keep over 95% of the youth we intake until they are ready to go back home or to an alternative safe environment.
Q: Do kids runaway and if so, what does shelter staff do?
A: Youth are free to leave. However, our staff is well trained in working with youth to address the issues that brought them to the shelter in the first place. They work very hard to help youth see there are more options available than running away. Some youth test the waters and leave only to return within hours as they realize we offer safety, something not found on the streets.
Q. Does the shelter turn youth away?
A. We work very hard not to turn away youth or families seeking help. We do need to make sure we keep all clients and staff safe. If youth are determined to be dangerous to themselves or others, we make other arrangements for their care.
Q. What happens when a youth leaves the shelter?
A. Through family counseling, most youths are successfully reunited with their immediate family. Unfortunately home isn’t always a safe place, in which case New Morning and Social Services work to identify another appropriate family member who can better support the child. In some cases, children do become wards of the state and enter the foster care system.
Q. Can my girlfriend/boyfriend come to visit me?
A. Maybe. Being at the shelter means that something has not been working right in your home environment. Our focus is to help you resolve those problems. Most times having a boyfriend or girlfriend visit will detract from that process. However, each individual is unique and we will decide this together.
Q. Can I bring my pet?
A. Sorry but pets are not allowed. If you are homeless with a pet, please call us and let us help you. Although, Seeing-eye dogs are allowed.
Q. If I’m a pregnant or parenting teen, can I come to stay at New Morning?
A. If you are a minor, yes. We will do everything we can to help you find other supportive services to help you and your unborn child. If you can take care of your baby, then yes. We will do everything we can to help you and your child find additional support in the community.
Q. I’m a part of the LGBTQ Community—can I come to stay at New Morning?
Q. How long can I stay at the shelter?
A. We do not have a ‘limit’ on your stay, but neither are we a substitute home. We want to help you either return home or find alternative safe housing. No youth should be on the street.
Q. Do I have to pay for staying at the shelter or getting counseling?
A. All shelter services are free of charge. Counseling services are offered on a sliding scale based on the ability to pay and can be free. The best answer here is ‘come in for help’ and we will do everything we can to help you.
Q. Can I volunteer at New Morning?
A. Yes, volunteer opportunities exist at our Emergency Youth Shelter or within the clinical team if you are a therapist and wish to work with youth and their families. Please contact our Shelter Director or Program Director for more information.
Q. How old do I have to be to volunteer at New Morning?
A. There are a variety of ways to assist New Morning, some of which do not have age requirements. For example, collecting hygiene supplies for our shelter can be done by youth groups and anyone, of any age, can call to find out our latest need, such as art supplies, backpacks or gift cards. To volunteer at the shelter or clinic, other considerations apply so please contact the Program Director for Programming by clicking here.
Q. What would be my duties as a volunteer?
A. We try to have volunteers bring special skills, talents, and activities to the time they might spend with youth at our Emergency Shelter. This provides an opportunity for our youth to be exposed to fun activities that they might otherwise not experience. Most importantly, volunteers are another positive adult in the life of the youth we serve.
Q. Do I need specialized training or education to volunteer at New Morning?
A. If you wish to volunteer in a clinical position, we will orient you to our counseling policies and procedures. Counseling positions normally require volunteers to possess a graduate degree in social work or psychology. If you wish to volunteer at our Emergency Youth Shelter, you will receive orientation about our program, your role, and trauma-informed care.
Q. Do I need to be fingerprinted to volunteer at New Morning?
A. Yes, volunteers must have their fingerprints cleared through the Department of Justice and must have a TB clearance in order to be able to enter our facilities.
Q. Is there any length of commitment for volunteer positions (including board membership)?
A. Volunteers can participate in one activity, join a committee, help out on a monthly basis, or more frequently depending upon their needs and availability.
Q. I want to volunteer. Now what?
A. Please contact the Associate Director of Programming by clicking here.
I AM A RUNAWAY/I HAVE A RUNAWAY QUESTIONS
Q. Do my parents have to be notified?
A. If you are a runaway or for some reason not living at home, New Morning has an obligation to contact your family to let them know of your location and safety. However, you should know that we have worked with thousands of children with the same concern. We are here to help you and your family resolve whatever issues led you to be out of your home. We also have a legal obligation not to return you to your family if we have concerns about your safety at home.
If you are seeking counseling without your parent’s knowledge, California law allows you to do this if you are 12 or older. We have a lot of experience in this area as well and while we believe that it is best for your family to become involved in your counseling, we know that in some cases this is not appropriate, and if you have a legal right to privacy, we will honor your wishes.
Q. I have a runaway in my home: What are the legalities (or what should I do)?
A. First, please recognize that although you may believe you are helping, having a friend stay with you who is not connected to adults places your friend at incredibly high risk for being hurt, abused, or exploited. One out of every three young people on the street will become sexually abused. If your friend wants to seek emancipation as a minor (i.e., have the legal right to control his/her own life), New Morning can help explore that process, but honestly, it is usually a better outcome if they can work out the problems they have with their family and return home or to another stable environment.
Q. Do my parents have to give permission for me to stay at New Morning?
A. Legally, we must contact your parents to let them know you are safe. Legally, you have a right to shelter if you are the victim of abuse or neglect. This means that you can stay at the shelter even if your parents do not approve or give permission. In many situations, both parents and kids decide that they need a cooling-off period (where they can get out of the pattern of constant arguing) and both agree that a stay at the shelter will provide respite. During this “time-out” we will work with you and your parents to find more effective ways of talking to each other and working out the problems.
Q. What if I can’t call my parent(s) because he/she/they have beaten, raped, or hurt me?
A. If this has happened, please see us as soon as you can. California laws are designed to protect children and unfortunately, you would not be the first child to experience this problem. We will help you through this process.
Q. What should I do if I think my friend is suicidal?
A. Please notify an adult immediately. Teenagers are at the highest risk, among all age groups, for successfully carrying out a suicidal plan. There are no second chances and you are not in the position to determine if your friend is serious or not. Others are trained to assist those who feel as if they have no reason to live to work through those feelings. You can call El Dorado County Mental Health Crisis Line at 530.626.1131, 9-1-1, or take your friend to the nearest emergency room for immediate evaluation.
Q. Will the police be called if I mention suicide?
A. Sometimes law enforcement is the most appropriate agency to get involved. Frequently, they can respond immediately. Suicidal thoughts can lead to suicidal actions which can lead to death. Law enforcement is trained to respond to this appropriately to ensure the person receives the help s/he needs to receive an evaluation and treatment.
Q. What makes New Morning special?
A. New Morning’s leading-edge strengths include:
Presence in the schools:
We increase access to service, eliminate barriers, we go where the kids are. This results in: increasing our credibility, improving our relationships with schools (teachers, counselors, families), and broadening our profile. By being accepted on campuses it offers a tacit recognition by the school that we are capable. It also offers our clients a neutral place and reduces the stigma of asking for and receiving services.
Public Safety Resource:
The Emergency Youth Shelter helps first responders deal with runaway youth. Otherwise, officers would have to spend inordinate amounts of time trying to find a resource for youth.
We offer quality professional services at a cost-effective price.
Ages of Services:
We serve children, birth to 18.
We are the only provider of Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) services in the community. We offer PCIT at our offices in Cameron Park and in Placerville. PCIT is an effective intervention for children, ages 2-7 displaying aggressive, defiant, and oppositional behavior. Trained therapists work with both parents and children in a unique setting where they actually provide live coaching to improve parent’s effectiveness and children’s compliance and behavior. Results are outstanding and the bond between parent and child is strengthened and improved.
Age of Agency:
We are 50 years old. We are the oldest non-profit serving children in this community.
HOW CAN I GIVE QUESTIONS
Q. How may I make a donation to New Morning?
A. We gladly accept donations. Send them to New Morning Youth & Family Services, 6765 Green Valley Road, Placerville, CA 95667, or make them on-line via PayPal on our website by clicking here.