When you complete your on-line application for admission, you will be prompted to create a user ID and password. In order to access the White River Academy Parent Portal, you will use the same user ID and password that you create. Your parent liaison provides you with a pin number that will allow you to access the Parental Portal. This is where you will retrieve letters from your son, academic details, and additional related documents. The parent portal is accessible 24-hours a day.
You and your son may correspond by e-mail as often as you each desire. Getting an e-mail to your son at least once a week is highly recommended. E-mail is the preferred form of written communication. Your son will be given 15 minutes each day to write an email. Emails are uploaded to the parent portal for you or your family members to view. It is strongly recommended that your son communicates only with family or other individuals as deemed appropriate by his therapist.
The program requires all students to email their parents 5 times per week if they are in the compliance group and 3 times a week if they are in the community group.
Students receive emails daily.
We recognize that receiving mail contributes significantly to the morale and progress of your son; therefore, it is our desire that this privilege be available with as few program imposed restrictions, as possible. Be aware that your son’s incoming mail is opened by the parent liaison and checked for contraband. Your son understands that you may restrict specific mail. Regular mail is most often sent in the form of cards on a student’s birthday or for a holiday. Any items that are sent should be for a specific need. The most commonly needed items are socks and underwear. Your student will be required to go to your parent liaison with any needs he may have and gain approval before asking for things to be sent. There are very few items that your student genuinely needs. We have found that it is best to reserve sending items they need for birthdays and holidays so they actually get something they can use and also so your student can spend time focusing on treatment as opposed to being distracted by things being sent in the mail.
Phone calls are set up by your parent liaison. You will have a 30 minute call with your parent liaison twice a month. Your student will join the last ten minutes of your parent liaison call once his therapist determines that he is in an appropriate place therapeutically for this to happen. The time frame for him joining the parent liaison call is specific to your son’s progress and is an important and necessary process. Phone calls too early in your son’s progress can be destructive as he becomes more pre-occupied with trying to manipulate you rather than focusing on working on his treatment plan goals and objectives. It is estimated that your son will begin phone call communication 30 to 45-days after he enrolls at White River Academy. Your son is not allowed to have phone conversations with anyone other than his parents or care givers.
Home or Offsite Visits
There are three home visits scheduled during the course of the program. The first home visit is for one week, the second home visit is for two weeks., and the third home visit is for ninety days. Each home visit requires a home visit contract drafted by your son, with your input, and approved by the White River Academy faculty.
Home visits take place when your student is close to completing the program. The purpose for the timing and duration is to see how your student and family handle the stages of transition. The home contracts that will be drafted are evolutionary, meaning the original contract for the first home visit is analyzed and updated after each visit in order to identify what went well and what didn’t go well and make changes to the contract.
There is a 30 day period between the first and second home visit in order for you and your student to therapeutically process the home visit with the help of your family therapist. Sometimes a third home visit is recommended, if necessary. The final contract will serve as your ninety day contract that your student will be expected to follow upon returning home.
Home Visit’s are not a “break” from the program but are an extension of the program. Having put forth so much consistent effort to work toward this point, it would be for naught if both you and your student set aside all that effort and return to old behavioral patterns drawing upon false motivators for continued change and growth.
Purpose of a Home Visit
What is the purpose of your home visit or home contract? Your student being enrolled at White River Academy is, in many ways, an ultimate show of love and concern. Your son will have the opportunity to grow and develop as an individual. They will gain an understanding that although you love them deeply, trust is something that must still be developed.
The program is difficult for a reason and something your child will not expect or want to do and ultimately this program is about trust. As students help and care for others, their peers, and themselves; and as they begin to make correct choices that show that they understand and accept responsibility for themselves, they gain trust in the program, trust from their peers and trust in themselves. This is how they progress to the point that they are ready for home visits to take place and ultimately graduation. This sets the stage for the purpose of the home contract.
A home contract is an opportunity for your student to outline just how much they are willing to do in order to gain trust back from their care givers, parents, and the rest of their family. For some, just like the program, it will be harder to do, but by the time your student graduates from the program they will understand that it is their responsibility to do so. It will be up to you and your family to create a mini-program that you will follow for the first 90 days so that the trust that both of you want can be earned.