Monday, November 17, 2008

Communication Policies

** original copy available upon request, it is very fuzzy and difficult to read**

Communication Policies

Because youth who are rebellious toward authority seek to divide authority figures and are capable of shrewdly providing “slanted views.” All of our students outgoing letters are censored. Our students are challenged to write edifying letters instead of self serving or complaining letters to their families and pastors.

Students are required to write there pastors and immediate family once each week. They are restricted to two sheets of paper for each letter, largely because our over-worked staff do not have time to read lengthy epistles of several pages from 20-30 girls. Students may receive mail form other approved correspondence besides their families and pastor with permission of their parents and the director, but may not answer such mail. For this reason, it is suggested that parents share letters received from their daughter in the program with grandparents, other relatives, and approved friends. Be sure these people know their mail will not be directly answered.

Students are not limited to the amount of mail they my receive from their families, pastor, and other approved correspondents, but are limited to one outgoing letter per week.

Please do not mention boyfriend/girlfriend relationships; worldly amusments; sinful habits; major or local league sports events; TV shows of any kind; secular country-western, rock, or so-called gospel rock music.

Please do hold your daughter responsible for her behavior or lack of proper behavior. Do not excuse her or blame others for her failures: she must face her responsibilities before God. Do not hide your feelings or family troubles from her. She needs to share in the positive and negative occurrences in your family. It is excellent to share with her how God is changing your house and individual lives from worldliness and carnality to Godly, righteous living; I.e. Mom decides to give up her man’s clothes. (Pants, blue jeans, shorts, ect.); Dad getting rid of every TV in the house and holding a family alter; the family getting involved with regular church attendance and soul-winning. Ect. Such reports in the past have significantly changed a student for the better while she was at Hephzibah House. Any Godly growth at home is excellent for her to hear.

Do not write your daughter’s name anywhere on the outside of the envelope or parcel sent to her. Such mail is automatically returned to the parents. Because it is necessary for us to censor all incoming mail, all mail must simply be addressed to “Hephzibah House” We can tell by the letter’s content (put notes inside parcels to identify our daughter) as to whom it should be delivered. Please be sure to notify approved correspondence of this policy. (Pastors, grandparents, family members, ect.) so they will not be returned to you.

Several girls have said, “I wish they would ‘get after’ me” for whatever reason they get in trouble here at Hephzibah House. We teach the girls the father should deal with them, but many father do not, and the girls have mixed emotions as to why there fathers do not.

DO NOT: 1. Mention dates and times of upcoming visits- all visits must be a surprise to the students. If you are providentially hindered she is not disappointed.

DO NOT: 2. Mention when you plan to pick her up from Hephzibah House or speak of future plans in a way that would enable her to discern when she is leaving. If she knows or figures it out, she will become irresponsible or disinterested in her daily duties and focus instead on going home.

DO NOT: 3. Make or discuss major decisions with your daughter by phone, letter, or visitation without first consulting with the Director. We are probably aware of information about her spiritual condition and character development that would significantly effect such decisions.

DO NOT: 4. Just give the reference for Scripture passages - those have been used in past to send secrete messages. You may use the scripture principles to illustrate a point, or write out the passage.

DO NOT: 5. Send treats or food unless there is sufficient quantities for everyone. (approved foods only)

DO NOT: 6. Give letters directly to students on a visit - all mail must be checked by a worker.

DO NOT: 7. Send pictures of immodest people: men in long hair, women in pants. Ect.

DO: 1. Encourage her; give her realistic hope. (not flattery or unearned praise), and lots of loving attention.

DO: 2. Inform her of how the family has changed in any way from the condition of failure that produced her disobedience and rebellion.

DO: 3. Honor your signed agreement to write her at least twice a week. Periods of silence are a source of great discouragement in a young girl away form home.

DO: 4. Reinforce and support counsel and discipline given by Hephzibah House. If she senses your disapproval of our policies, her time with us will be counterproductive.