The Family Resource Center, the Promise Fellow, and Juvenile Officers recruit and screen host homes in accordance with guidelines that review the family's background, prior contact with law enforcement, location and length of local residence, ability to parent with nurturing and discipline, and the living arrangements/ accommodations within the home. Juvenile Officers attempt to keep a juvenile in his original host home placement, and not move a juvenile among host homes if at all possible. Youth may remain in a host home up to thirty days before returning home or other suitable living arrangements being made if the youth is placed due to a family crisis. If the youth is placed for delinquent behavior, he/she will go in front of the judge at the next available court date. The judge then decides if the youth will remain in the host home, usually not to exceed 14 days.
The Host Home Program is not designed for long-term residential placement. The host home parents are reimbursed $20.00 per day for each youth placed in the home. Payment is made from county funds and reimbursed by the child's parent or guardian.
This program has a two-fold purpose. As a crisis intervention, the host home acts as an emergency placement program for families in need of services, allowing a brief respite or "time out" period; or as an emergency shelter for a runaway. Secondly, the host home is a supervised placement for youth who has committed a crime, not serious enough to be sent to detention or the Department of Youth Services, but serious enough that supervision, in order to ensure the youth's appearance at court proceedings is required.
Each youth has individualized guidelines regarding host home placement, based upon the nature of the case/ offense. The host home parent is requested to provide a daily log of contact with the youth. This may be as brief or as extensive as the host home parent desires. The primary purpose is to document any problems encountered and to credit the youth with good behavior and progress.
The host home parents are required to remain objective and impartial about each child in their care, being careful not to side with any family member so as not to become a pawn in anyone's attempt to manipulate for their own gain.
We are committed to protecting the host home, as well as the youth. A voluntary consent form is signed by the parent, guardian, or custodian prior to placement in the host home. this form gives consent to the Juvenile Officer & to duly authorized representatives to transport the youth, to administer medical treatment on an emergency basis, and/or to relieve any liability on the host home's behalf.
If a crisis occurs with a juvenile placed in the host home, the host home parents are directed to notify the Juvenile Officer(s) immediately and/or the appropriate law enforcement agency. It is the responsibility of the Juvenile Officer to assist the host home family with any support services that are required.
Occasions may arise that require transport of the juvenile to medical, counseling, or court appointments. These arrangements are coordinated through the Juvenile Officer. The youth are accountable to the host home, as a parent, while residing in that home, giving exception only to the specific guideline(s) established by the Juvenile Officers.
The Host Home Program is an integral part of the services offered to juveniles and their families in the 14th Judicial District. The services these homes offer to the communities in Baxter, Boone, Marion, and Newton Counties are immeasurable. The officers in the 14th Judicial District are acutely aware of the tremendous assistance these homes provide when a crisis is taking place. Many times it takes only one call to one home to place a juvenile in a safe home environment. That in itself has been a real service to the Juvenile Officer, the community, and to the juvenile.
The placement of a juvenile in a host home does not mean that's the end of the problems that existed prior to the placement. A handbook is available for quick reference by the host home parents when a question or problem arises concerning the juvenile.