We are dedicated to prevention at MountainStar. Sometimes we're providing help to families whose children are safe; they just need help to keep things that way. Other times, we are the last step before foster care. No matter what, our highest priority is each child's health and safety.
WHO WE SERVE
Most families who enroll with MountainStar are living in crisis with a whole host of issues that, together, create such toxic stress that they can't function healthfully. They may be homeless, unemployed or not making enough to put food on the table consistently. They may be struggling with mental illness or substance dependence - often both. Some of the parents in our program are victims of domestic violence, or survivors of past physical, emotional, and sexual abuse. Within our first few interactions with a family, we assess how many of these different "risk factors" a family is dealing with. The average is 13. Some are as high as 40.
We connect with vulnerable local families through word of mouth, referrals from doctors, social workers, law enforcement, and partner agencies. No matter how they reach us, parents volunteer to be a part of our program because they want the best for their kids. We think that's profound — parents reaching out to a child abuse prevention program for help. That's why we are committed to offering our services in a non-judgemental and compassionate way.
Check out the video below for an overview of MountainStar.
HOW WE HELP
We provide families with support in a variety of areas so that parents can create a safe and healthy environment for children and address the root cause of problems affecting the family situation. Families in all of our programs receive:
Crisis intervention and support
Home visits once a month or more
Individualized parent coaching
Mental health therapy for kids + adults
Parent training classes + family activities
Basic needs (food, diapers, clothing)
Connections to community resources
Transportation for visits, classes, etc.
OUR DIFFERENT PROGRAMS
1) FAMILY RELIEF NURSERY — our flagship programs
Therapeutic Early Childhood Program
We offer therapeutic classes for babies and toddlers to help them heal from the effects of living in chaos and being mistreated. Our highly trained staff lovingly care for each child, giving them the one-on-one attention they crave and the boost toward development they desperately need. Two and three year olds come to class twice a week for three hours, and infants come once per week. Class time is integrated with home visits and individualized parent coaching. Ours is a labor intensive model; families receive 300+ contact hours per year. But, we're happy to report that this is a solution that really prevents child abuse and neglect. Read about our results here.
Safety Net Program
This used to be called our waiting list. As we've grown, it's become possible for MountainStar to help families who are not in our therapeutic classroom program. The Safety Net is a program in which families can pick and choose services that fit their needs. Some parents are open to home visits, others just want a box of diapers here and there. Some want to get their child into our classes, others are engaging as much as they can. We look to the highest need and most-likely-to-succeed families in the Safety Net when a spot opens in our therapeutic classrooms.
2) DESCHUTES COUNTY DRUG COURT — Parenting Coach
MountainStar now provides a “Parenting Coach” for Deschutes County Drug Court participants. This is a court-sponsored treatment program for parents that struggle with addiction and have criminal charges. DHS may or may not be involved. The program’s team approach provides judicial supervision, intensive substance abuse treatment, mental health services and comprehensive support services. Our staff member provides parenting education services while acting as a mentor to the participants and their family. DCFDC graduates exceed national averages for criminal recidivism (7%) and family reunification (95%). This program is funded entirely through contracts. All private donations support our Relief Nursery program.
3) ENHANCED VISITATION — for families with children in foster care
MountainStar’s Enhanced Visitation program helps families after children have been placed in foster care. Parents (who no longer have custody) are able to spend quality time with their children in a safe, supervised, and home-like environment at our visitation centers in Bend, Madras, and Prineville.
During visits, families cook and share meals, read together, and more. Our staff work with the children (0-18) and their parents to foster strong bonds where relationships have been affected by abuse, neglect, and separation. Our highly trained staff help parents address problems preventing them from earning back custody, while also teaching positive parenting practices that include positive discipline, nurturing touch, responding with sensitivity, consistent loving care, and how to achieve balance in their personal and family life.
This important program is fully funded through a contract with the Department of Human Services. Participating families are referred through Child Welfare, with the goal being to reach a rapid and safe reunification.