03 May Moving into the new reality
Young men from hard places have found amazing opportunities to improve their lives at Westview Boys’ Home since 1956. Located in Hollis, Oklahoma, Westview’s rural setting gives young men a chance for a new beginning in an environment where they can learn new skills and develop positive habits. Caring for animals, taking care of chores, catching up in school, and living in a positive environment empowers these youth to grow spiritually, emotionally, physically, academically, and socially.
Through individualized training and guidance from highly trained Westview team members, young men who were once viewed as being “at-risk” and a burden on their communities become productive members of society. Having known devastating failure, they find paths to success in a nurturing setting. In the open spaces of Westview’s ranch, these young men find renewed hope for a brighter future. Even so, the Westview team continues to move forward into the new reality that stands before us.
Applying evidence-based methods with at-risk youth
Some years ago, Westview was among the first to apply the evidence-based principles developed by Dr. Karyn Purvis and Dr. David Cross at Texas Christian University. Trust-Based Relational Intervention® (TBRI®) empowers children to cope with the trauma in their past and learn new coping skills to build sustainable relationships. Realizing that many times, that trauma leads to the development of negative behaviors, the program seeks to help youngsters find and develop positive ways of dealing with the struggles they have experienced and overcome the negative behaviors of their past.
Since Westview Boys’ Home began using TBRI, they have seen greatly improved success in the lives of the youth entrusted to their care. Schools, youth organizations, churches, and others have seen the strength of this program and have turned to Westview for training in the methods used on the Westview campus. Westview team members have conducted seminars for several school districts, churches, and for other childcare organizations including one of the largest residential childcare programs in Oklahoma. We will be doing more of this work in the coming year.
Adding parental education and preventative interventions
Realizing the need to share this wealth of experience, Westview Boys’ Home has now expanded its outreach by developing Westview Family Services, a part of Westview that provides training for schools, childcare facilities, and families. Westview Family Services conducts workshops centered around the principles of TBRI® that help parents develop skills and practices that will help them become better parents. Westview Family Services also offers counseling for families, parents, and children to empower them to create a more positive family environment and to help families avoid out-of-home placements of at-risk children. To make this program more accessible to more Oklahomans, Westview Family Services has opened an office in Oklahoma City.
Rebuilding a transitional program for youth aging out of care
Westview will soon be expanding its offerings again. Westview is rebuilding its Westview Transitions program, a work that empowers young men who are 18 and older to find a sustainable path to independent adulthood. This program has been successful in Harmon County, yet the team at Westview has come to realize that this program will thrive if it is in a setting with expanded educational and job opportunities for program participants.
Building on our experience and the best practices of other programs, Westview plans to purchase a piece of property on the west side of Oklahoma City and build homes that empower young men as they transition from living “at-home” to having their own home. The young men who participate in Westview Transitions will share a duplex with two other young men. There will be a highly trained mentor on-site to provide the young men with the help and guidance they need.
Westview is able to offer these services at little or no cost to the participants thanks to the individuals, churches, businesses, and other organizations who give to the Home. If you would like to know more about how you could help or receive help from the services Westview provides, call Westview Boys’ Home at (580) 688-9281.