Heritage held a new parent weekend on February 26 and 27. Gina Rich, family services coordinator, explained the addition of the new weekend meetings.
“We usually have our parent weekends in April and August but we added these more intimate conferences which will take place in February, June and October,” she said. “At these smaller meetings parents can meet with the treatment team and do more things that are not possible with larger groups. It’s also great for parents who are new to Heritage. It helps them get to know the staff a little bit better.”
She said Eugene Marshall, director of therapeutic programs, put workshops together and oversaw the therapy and parent visits. On the first day parents attended workshops and met with the treatment team for their student. The next day parents got to enjoy various activities with their children.
“The activities were designed for the students to build stronger relationships with their parents,” Gina said.
Some of those activities included going skiing or snowboarding to Sundance, going shopping or out to eat. Gina said doing these common things helps students learn social skills while building family relationships.
Parents liked one-on-one time with staff, academic advisors, teachers and rec therapists. They had individual question and answer times regarding their child.”
Gina said there were a lot of parents who hadn’t been to Heritage and, as usual, they fell in love with the location of the school in the mouth of beautiful Provo canyon and the wonderful Heritage staff.
“They love our staff – they see that we really care,” she said. “When parents come to visit they feel the connection we have as a staff and the kids have with the staff too.”
Gina said once parents tour the Heritage Community and see the interactions of their child with staff members they go home more at peace with their child being at Heritage and the care they receive.
The kids also had positive reactions to the parent weekend.
“Students always love when their parents come – their reactions are always great,” she said. “They were able to do a recreation activity with their parents while they were here. We had a lunch with everyone but after the conference was done they spent time with their parents. Parents are happy to come and see Heritage and get to know the staff but they really want to spend time with their students; they miss their teenager.”