Open Sky is dedicated to providing families a meaningful and supportive wilderness therapy experience, from enrollment through graduation and beyond. Each family’s treatment team provides guidance, mentorship, and support every step of the way.
The Family Care Coordinator is a family’s administrative point person at Open Sky throughout their entire journey in the program. Family Care Coordinators are a friendly and familiar voice on the other end of the phone if parents have questions or are seeking information.
Family Care Coordinators also manage and track important paperwork throughout the student’s stay: medical information, immunization records, power of attorney, clinical evaluations, and all other legal, medical, and therapeutic history and documentation. In addition to paperwork, Family Care Coordinators manage student photos and letters and post them to the family’s Parent Portal once a week. This is an exciting day each week for families, as parents are able to have a glimpse of their child in the field, as well as communicate with them through letter writing. From enrollment through graduation, Family Care Coordinators are devoted to making the process as smooth as possible for families.
Every Monday from 7:00-8:00 p.m. MT, current and alumni parents are invited to join our weekly teleconference support calls. The first 30 minutes of the call is a mindfulness exercise led by one of our wellness counselors. The facilitator leads parents in centering skills, breathing exercises, meditation, and interoception. These simple mindfulness practices can bring relief to parents during and after the Open Sky journey. They are also practices that the students learn in the field. For parents of current students, learning these skills alongside their child is an important part of the parent experience at Open Sky, which parallels that of the student. For alumni parents, maintaining these skills is an invaluable way to both role model healthy behavior for their families and take care of themselves.
The second half of the call is an open-forum format, providing parents the opportunity and space to ask questions, receive support, share emotions and experiences, and offer encouragement and input. A variety of topics are covered during this portion of the call. These topics often include information and guidance about letter writing, what to expect at various stages during and after the program, family and alumni services, and other helpful resources for parents.
Regular participation in the Monday Night Parent Support Call helps parents process their emotions, cultivate personal wellness, and take comfort in knowing they are not going through this experience alone.
At Open Sky, every aspect of programming is designed not just to help students and families in the moment, but to support lasting success. Open Sky’s Transition Mentors provide critical guidance to families immediately before departure and for the initial period following graduation. Transition Mentors help families to prepare for reunification prior to graduation and the child’s first night after graduation. Transition Mentors answer questions and provide support so that families can transition with hope and confidence.
― Trish, Alumni Parent (2016)