If you are considering making Elks Aidmore your home, you might have a few questions you’d like to ask. We’ve come up with some answers to the most commonly asked questions. We know that this couldn’t possibly answer all of your concerns, but we hope it helps. Before coming to live at Elks Aidmore, you will have a chance to meet with staff to make sure you’re comfortable with our program.
Where is Elks Aidmore?
Elks Aidmore is located in Conyers, GA., about 30 miles east of Atlanta.
Where will I be living?
Residents at Elks Aidmore will live in one of four cottages located on the campus. Each cottage can house up to 8 youth. There is a Direct Care Specialist who supervises each cottage group.
What kinds of activities/facilities are there on campus?
Lots!! We have a full gym in which to play basketball and volleyball, a softball field, tennis courts, a fishing lake complete with canoes, camping facilities, a swimming pool, a gazebo for cookouts, playground equipment, a game room and a ropes course.
What kinds of kids will be living at the group home with me?
Elks Aidmore serves youth ages 12 – 21. Many of the residents will be in the custody of the Department of Family and Children Services. Others may be in the custody of the Department of juvenile Justice, because they have been charged with a status offense (i.e.: truancy, running away, unruliness) or a non-violent delinquent offense (i.e.: shoplifting, trespassing). Still others will be placed by their parents, because the families feel they need someone from the outside to help them work out some family difficulties.
Will I be going to school?
Our residents attend public school, alternate school, GED school, vocational school, or community college. Grades 9-12 generally attend Heritage High School, Grades 6-8 attend Edwards Middle School, and Grades 1-5 attend Sims Elementary. Rockdale County is known for its excellent school system.
How old do I have to be to work off campus?
You can work at age 15 with a work permit as long as you are showing progress in your Care Plan.
What’s a Care Plan?
Good question! The Individualized Care Plan (ICP) defines goals and objectives that the staff will help you achieve during your stay with us. You have input into what goes into your care plan. We will review it monthly with a formal review every three months. These goals and objectives may change during your stay as you make changes within your life. Examples of some goals include “To concentrate on your school work”, “To work expressing your anger appropriately”, or “To learn self-sufficiency skills” to prepare you for living on your own.
Will there be counseling on campus?
Yes. Individual, group and family therapy is provided for all residents and their families. Residents in the Preparation for Independent Living Program attend Life Skills Groups weekly. In addition, our live-in staff, the Direct Care Specialist, will run educational groups and house meetings so everyone can give and receive feedback on life in the cottages.
Can I smoke?
No. The use of tobacco, alcohol or drugs by our residents is prohibited.
Can I date?
As with most group homes, dating is fairly limited. You must be at least 16 years old and must be progressing toward your goals. We will have a level system which will help us to determine if you have acted responsibility in the past. If you are under 16 and wish to attend a school sponsored function such as a school dance, staff will also check your level before granting permission for you to attend.
Can I drive a car?
Residents in the Preparation for Independent Living Program can drive if they have a car, are over 18 years of age, and have proof of insurance.
Do I have to attend church?
Elks Aidmore is not affiliated with any church. Non-denominational services will be offered; these are strictly optional. Efforts will be made to help a young person who is active within her church to continue attending pending arrangement of transportation.
How long will I have to stay at Elks Aidmore?
We understand that everyone’s needs are different. The length of stay depends completely on your own individual situation. On average, youth will stay from 6-12 months; some may need to stay longer, some shorter. As soon as you enter our program, we will start talking about your long range goals. This might include placement with your parents, a relative, a friend’s family, or a long term foster family. For those who are older and have no placement resources, Elks Aidmore staff will help teach those basic skills necessary for making it in the community.
What kind of input do residents have in decision making?
We have structured a program which encourages residents to make suggestions for improving the program. Serious suggestions will be evaluated seriously. Some rules cannot be changed because of guidelines established by the state, but we hope that you will feel that this is YOUR home and YOUR program.
What about allowance?
In additional to allowance that your guardian might provide, you will earn a weekly allowance. The amount is based on your level of cooperation within the cottage and your satisfactory completion of your chores.
What kind of chores will I be asked to complete?
Chores will be assigned on a rotating basis. One night, you might be asked to help prepare dinner, the next night it might be your turn to vacuum or mop the dining room floor. All residents in the cottage will be asked to pitch in to keep the general living areas cleaned. Every morning, you are responsible for making sure that your bedroom and bathroom are cleaned. You are responsible for washing your own laundry. If you are unsure how to complete a chore, ask the staff to teach you this new skill.
Can I have visitors at the campus? Visit away from campus? Weekend passes?
More excellent questions – you’re getting good at this! Visitations will be determined by your Care Plan. We want all resident to have an outside “home” that they can visit on weekends or holidays. If you are in the custody of the state, often times, there are restrictions on visiting families who have not gone through a home evaluation. We are unable to allow friends from school to visit campus, in order to protect privacy and confidentially.
Can I call friends and family? Can I write letters and receive mail?
You may call anyone your guardian puts down on your phone list. As long as our staff gets permission from your guardian, it’s fine to add people to your phone list. Since so many people will be living in the same home, you will need to follow certain phone rules to enable everyone to get their fair time on the telephone. Phone calls may be monitored at a staff persons discretion if she has reason to believe that the call could be upsetting to you or that something negative might occur as a result of the call. You may send or receive mail freely without the fear of staff reading your mall. The only exceptions to this would be if a court order restricts contact between you and someone else, or if exchanging mail with someone is contra-indicated on the Care Plan.