Questions About Our Program
Here are some common questions we get regarding our program from potential residents. If you are considering our program, please take some time to read through all these!
Can I Have a Cell Phone?
The first 30 days, there is restricted cell phone usage. Cell Phones are only allowed to make required phone calls (Medical, WIC, govt assistance, probation, CPS, lawyer, court mandated calls). One staff-approved support person is allowed. Cell Phones remain in charging station area for the remainder of the time. Phone calls need to be made in public spaces. No cell phones are allowed in your bedroom during this time. This helps cut ties with unhealthy people, and gives you an opportunity to focus on the program without distractions.
After 30 days, a resident is allowed monitored cell phone usage. This means you can have your cell phone with you except during focused times (meal times, bible study, classes, when volunteers are in the home teaching, counseling, during home activities or meetings). No cell phones are ever allowed in the bathrooms or showers. This is for everyone’s privacy and safety.
There are some behaviors that could take a resident back to restricted cell phone usage.
Can I have visitors?
Yes, during the interview and first few weeks, we try and identify the healthy and supportive people in your life. Visitation with those people must be planned in advance and approved by staff. Visitation in our home must take place in common spaces.
Am I Allowed to Leave the Home?
For the first 30 days, our staff will accompany you to all activities outside of our home. You will get out and about to go to dr appts, church, community activities, grocery shopping, etc… with sparrow’s nest staff.
After 30 days, you may schedule times to go with healthy and supportive people. This needs to be communicated in advance and subject to approval by house staff. We help set parameters and times for leaving the home. If you have your own transportation, we ask you stay accountable by communicating with house staff your safe arrival to and from your destination.
We want you to maintain connection to your healthy support system!
What will be my responsibilities?
Since this is a program, and also a home setting, some of your responsibilities include:
-planning and cooking the family dinner once a week
-cleaning your assigned areas each week
-participating in classes/activities unless medically unable to
-keeping your room and space tidy and clean
-community service opportunities as they arise
-having a willing and teachable spirit to change your life circumstances
-once baby arrives, your responsibilities also include taking care of your baby if you are parenting.
-communicating needs of baby and self to staff.
What are prohibited items I cannot bring?
-Weapons: knives, guns, tasers, etc…
-Drugs: each resident upon arrival agrees to submit to a drug test, we also reserve the ability to drug test randomly as we feel the need – this is part of accountability in our program.
-Cigarettes: we are a smoke free enviornment. We are happy to help you with a cessation program.
– Sexually explicit items: this includes toys, pornographic material (books, magazines, or pictures), and clothing.
-Pets: we have a sweet house dog named Mona! She brings a lot of joy to our home.
Who will be at the house with me?
We have full time live in house parents. They are your primary authority figures and the ones you do life with here the most. They are off duty each weekend and for vacation time as needed. We have different relief house parents or families come in and stay the weekend in the home. We try to provide 24/7 support in our home, especially while you are pregnant in case of emergencies.
You will also see our Life Advocate and Executive Director regularly in the home, along with other volunteers!
Who can be with me when I deliver?
We feel very strongly that no woman should have to birth alone! You will put together a birth plan with our birthing coach. If you have a healthy and supportive person in your life, they are welcome to be with you through labor and delivery at the hospital. We can coordinate all that as the time comes. They are welcome to participate in the birthing classes with you as well. If you would like a Sparrow’s Nest staff to accompany you or another volunteer or mentor mom, we are happy to make those arrangments as well. If a Sparrow’s Nest staff will not be present through labor and birth, we just ask for open and frequent communication so we have an understanding of what is happening at the hospital.
Usually a Sparrows Nest staff tries to be present upon discharge to transport resident and baby home. Since you and your baby will be in our care upon arrival home, we feel this is important to show the hospital staff your support team once you arrive home and answer any questions they might have.
Can I keep my current OB and hospital?
We evaluate all that in the interview process. It depends on where you are coming to us from and the distance we are from your OB and hospital. If you are going to your regularly scheduled appointments, then we try to make an effort to maintain that. We have a great relationship with a few OBs and hospitals near us that know us and our program, and our residents have really loved them and highly recommend them in the event it is not possible to continue care with your current OB.
What do you provide?
Being accepted into our program comes with many benefits! Some of the things we provide at no cost to you are:
- A clean and loving home: we do not charge rent (this includes water, electricity, internet)
- Computers to do school work
- Your own private room (bed, crib, closet space, and rocking chair are in each room)
- Washer and Dryer (laundry soap provided as well)
- Basic Toiletries
- All baby items (bottles, clothes, gear, car seat, toys, books, toiletries for baby, etc…)
- Clothes/shoes for you (maternity and regular)
- All curriculum (bible study books, parenting books, program books)
- Transportation to appointments and program activities
How do I get into the program?
We are not an emergency shelter, so if you need to seek safety, please find a temporary shelter. If you need our help identifying one, please ask us! We can give you names of local temporary shelters.
1. Fill out our application online
2. Wait for a phone call from our Director. The Director will reach out to go over questions you have and set up an admission interview.
3. Complete Admission interview with staff. This gives us a chance to ask thorough questions about all areas of your life to ensure we feel we can serve you well.
4. Director will call you with decision regarding admission and when you can move in if accepted to our program! We try to coordinate your move in strategically taking into account the schedule of our house parents and the homes schedule as well. We want to ensure a smooth transition into our home and want to make you feel as welcome as possible!
How long is the program?
We recognize that each of our residents come to us from different circumstances, and that means needs are different. We spend the interview process and first few weeks trying to help a resident identify what they need to focus on and prioritizing how to order that. We focus on physical health for resident and baby, mental health, financial guidance, spiritual encouragement, motherhood goals, and educational and career needs.
Every resident is different and their path to and from our home is different. If a resident is doing well in the program and meeting goals, she is allowed to stay up to a year after giving birth.
Do I have to place my baby for adoption?
NO! We support either parenting plan. We are not an adoption agency, and we just want to support the decision you feel is best for you and your baby. We educate you on your options, and walk alongside you through your parenting plan.
Am I Allowed to Work?
Yes! We want to support you through balancing work life with motherhood. Everyone’s circumstances are different, so we evaluate and discuss that in the interview process. We desire for every resident to have the opportunity to acclimate and adjust to our program and home, so we try and encourage residents to not work right away. The first few weeks are usually pretty busy with appointments, counseling, classes, and learning the guidelines of the home anyway. We want you to have a chance to breathe and step out of crisis. Then we begin looking at what your goals are, and how work fits into your future career goals. We also offer an internship program, that allows you the opportunity to work within our program at various businesses in our community, which gives you flexibility to earn money and also complete our program requirements.
If you do not have your GED, we always start with that.
Classes are offered at different times during the week. We rotate classes based on our volunteers and their availability to teach. Our expectation is that a resident is willing to participate in classes when we schedule them. We often try and schedule these around work/school/dr appointment schedules.
- Online Parenting Curriculum
- Business Computer Classes
- Basic Sewing Skills
- Birthing Class and Support
- Breastfeeding Support
- Bible Study
- Book Studies in Group Setting
- Weekly one-on-one Counseling
- Interviewing/Resume Writing
- Addiction Recovery Support
Diaper Bucks Program
As you might know, diapers and wipes are very expensive! We want to relieve that burden from you while in our home, so we created a diaper bucks program. Each week, you earn points for things like your chores, a good attitude, community service, completing classes, exercising, being on time for things, being prepared for classes, and many other things. You accumulate these points and then can use them to buy your baby diapers and wipes so that expense is alleviated from your budget.