A brief post has been communicated to us here at Tierra Village about our residential program, the Coyote House Adult Family Home. The post stated that Coyote House only accepts the highest functioning individuals and rejects anyone with significant needs.
As a result, we welcome the opportunity to provide more information about our admissions process.
Our information now includes how we choose our residents, the application process, and what would lead to a potential resident not being selected for our program. We appreciate feedback and want to provide families entering the admissions process thorough information to have accurate expectations.
Does Coyote House only accept high functioning individuals?
A better question would be, "how does Coyote House go about selecting (or rejecting) potential new residents?"
We answer that question by saying,
We approach each potential applicant on a case by case basis.
Every home, every organization, has a particular culture, as does Coyote House. We are a young adult, highly active, and vivacious crew! That is our culture.
We sincerely believe in the right for our residents to be a highly significant part of the decision process of who they live with.
If at any point in the admissions process our current residents communicate unanimously that they would not like to live with a potential applicant, the process will cease, regardless of whether an individual's needs can be categorized as "high" or "low".
What does "high" and "low" functioning mean?
It seems subjective to this AFH manager. We have current residents who require significant supports over a myriad of issues. Are there individuals with higher needs? Of course. Are there issues experienced by our residents that are medical mysteries that remain unsolved? Yes. Is this a spectacular ongoing challenge? Absolutely. Would we reject someone our residents were over the moon about, merely due to a specific challenge? Absolutely not.
We want to connect with you.
Let me take this opportunity to encourage anyone who is thinking of reaching out to our organization to speak with us, and we would love to meet you and your loved one. We will welcome you into our community, and learn more about our residents and our organization. We hope that it works as a Coyote House resident! But even if it doesn't, TRAILS may be a great fit (which has happened multiple times), or Employment Services, OR it may be that our future programming may have something better suited for your individual situation.
The environment is a factor.
I feel I must add that Coyote House is located in the middle of a beautiful forest overlooking a canyon. We do not have smooth or level sidewalks (or sidewalks at all) and major healthcare centers are at a distance. Cascade Medical Center is 15 minutes away, and larger centers are located in Wenatchee, which is 40+ minutes away. Our home is very well laid out for wheelchair accommodation, but so far, families have seen that it would be very difficult for their loved one, especially in our winter snows, to navigate their way around. We currently do not have a wheelchair lift on our van.
Ideal for all—that is the goal.
We are aiming for a group of residents that live in harmony for the long term. This can only occur when all invested parties are in agreement. This means that our current residents, the applicant, the applicant's family, current resident families, Tierra Village staff, and the State are (hopefully) all in agreement that this will be a wonderful arrangement. A lofty goal, but it is worth aspiring too.
Admissions Process Overview
Our admissions process has multiple steps and requirements, both from our processes as an organization, and per directives from the State. We are taking this opportunity to codify the sequence of the steps of this process. These steps are as follows:
Initial Contact - This is the initial conversation between a potential family and Coyote House.
Initial Screening - The administrative team at Coyote House will pre-screen any person who may not be a good fit at Coyote House. This would include but is not limited to, individuals with a history of violence, sexual violence, or mental health issues, which include agression.
Initial Tour - Usually scheduled for Fridays. Applicants and their families can come to see the facility, meet the residents and staff, check out the TRAILS Day Program, and stay for dinner if they wish.
Current Resident Check-In - At this point, I, the AFH Manager, will check in with the residents. If they would like to move forward, we will move forward.
Initial Document Submission - This would include the current assessment, as well as our resident application, and other documents as relevant.
3(ish) Day Visit - This usually looks like a long weekend. We try to pick a less-busy weekend so current residents and the applicant have a chance to really get to know one another. We ask that families remain near-by at this time, should we need to contact you.
Current Resident Check-In - Just as in step 3, we will call together our "Resident Council" and see where everyone is at, with the process.
Additional Document Submission - This is a catch-all for any other documentation requirements for state, medical, financial, or our own purposes.
Visit by Tierra Village representative to potential applicants home - This is a very important step for us. We want to see potential residents where they are most comfortable and how they are used to living. We learn so much on these visits and really look forward to them.
1-2 week visit - This visit is a great way for residents to really soak up the rhythm of life at Coyote House and if it is something they feel is a good fit for they, and their family.
Final Decision by staff and residents - Once we have reached this phase, we will make a final decision together and, hopefully, bring in a new Coyote to the "pack".
Rejecting potential applicants.
This is the most difficult part of our jobs. We want to help people. But, we only have so much space and so much help to give. We attempt to pre-screen those who are not a good fit, initially. After that, unless some other information comes to light, the main reason for the rejection of the applicant is based on the decision of the current residents. We always communicate this message by phone or in person, if at all possible, as we know that this is not the news most families wish to hear.
We are looking for long-term placements.
We make every effort to create long-lasting placements. We want our residents to stay at Coyote House for years and even decades to come. This makes the resident recruitment process all the more important, and the need for all parties to be completely happy with the arrangement.
One room left.
Coyote House is licensed for six beds. We are in the process of moving in our fifth resident. We will be announcing this officially soon! That means we have one bedroom left. This is a wonderful opportunity, and if you are interested, please let us know. We want to build a thriving community and want you to be part of it!
We welcome your thoughts and feedback about our process and want to make it efficient and effective, for everyone involved.