Parent Handbook

Revised August 2016


Contact Information

Agency Address:   New Haven Youth & Family Services

PO Box 1199, Vista, CA 92085

760-630-4035 or 1-800-863-9428.


Send Mail:     c/o Your Son’s Name



Your Child’s Team:


Treatment Manager: ________________   ext. ____________




House: ____________           House Number: _________



Emergency Contact Information:


Medical Services Coordinator:             ext. 206


Hours of Operation

New Haven’s Office hours are Monday – Friday 8:30AM – 5:00 PM except on major holidays. If you are unable to reach your Treatment Manager please call the main number. If you leave a message, your call will be returned within 1 business day.

Access to After Hour Care

 * Please Note: Treatment Managers and Program Specialists are available in the event of a crisis. However, New Haven is not a provider of Emergency or Crisis Intervention Services. To reach someone after business hours, please contact your son’s house for assistance. In the event of a crisis, the family or caregiver is encouraged to use a crisis stabilization service, follow their safety plan, or call 9-1-1.

 In case of a local Emergency or Disaster, please contact this number for a recorded message: 760.630.4035 X586                     (Please do not leave messages at this number)

Chapter 1 – Program Description

New Haven Youth & Family Services, Inc. has provided residential services to adolescents for the past 30 years. Our purpose is to provide a structured environment and treatment necessary to successfully stabilize and effectively transition the youth home or to a lower level of care. New Haven sets the standard of care providing child- and family-focused services that restore hope and dignity to troubled youth and their families.

New Haven’s Residential Program works to engage and instruct youth who struggle in the home, school, and community due to behavior, mental health, substance abuse, learning disabilities and/or other individual or family problems. We offer a residential treatment program that runs 24 hours a day, seven days a week in six-bed residences on our main campus and in the local community. An on-site non-public school is provided for those residents who require Special Education as specified in their Individualized Education Plan (IEP).

New Haven is a strength’s based program that focuses on the strengths and potential of the youth rather than their problems or deficits. Our model incorporates best practices as designated by the State of California to meet the multi-dimensional needs of at-risk youth. New Haven provides structure and ongoing opportunities for youth to participate in leadership, decision-making, interpersonal competency and self-advocacy, with an awareness and connection to their family and community. Our approach equips youth with the tools to become self-confident, independent and ultimately hopeful about their future success and personal fulfillment.

In addition to providing Residential Treatment, New Haven provides Non-Public Education, Community Based Services and Therapeutic Behavioral Services. There are no known conflicts of interests.

 Program Costs

New Haven’s Residential Program is funded through the youth’s school district or county. Parents are responsible for their child’s additional healthcare costs incurred during residential stay. Private pay for residential treatment is available and can be coordinated through the Admission’s Coordinator by calling (760) 630-4035.

Program Philosophy

New Haven’s program is developed from established principles in the fields of psychology, education and social services, and can be best described as an integrated Psycho-Educational Program that incorporates principles of Trauma-Informed Care. Trauma Informed Care can be defined as “a universal framework that requires changes to practices, policies, and culture of an entire organization, so all staff members have the awareness, knowledge, and skills needed to support survivors of trauma.”

Because Trauma Informed Care requires individual and collective systems recognize that trauma can have broad and penetrating effects on a youth’s personhood, New Haven creates and maintains a therapeutic environment necessary to treat any of our youth who are trauma survivors. We choose to work diligently to create a safe, predictable, and therapeutic environment for our youth, their families, our workforce, and our community at large. We pay attention to environmental issues such as reducing harsh noises or lighting to more complex issues like helping youth deal with issues such as distrust of others, despair, damaged sense of self or the feeling of powerlessness.

New Haven’s treatment foundation is based on: Development of safe relationships; Creating physical and emotional safety; Solution-Focused treatment; Empowerment of the residents; Resiliency and strengths-based; Trustworthiness and transparency; Skill building approach in treatment; Family reunification when applicable; Permanency in the community; Staff mutuality and shared purpose; Peer leadership and support; Cultural awareness; and Outcomes.


Your Child’s First Week

Once admitted to New Haven your child will be assigned a room and possibly a roommate. A staff person will help your child go through and unpack his belongings and answer any questions he may have.

Within the first week, your son and his treatment team, which includes (but is not limited to) yourself, your son’s Treatment Manager, Placement Worker(s), Program Specialist, Childcare Counselors, Teacher, Nurse and Psychiatrist begin the assessment process and develop an Individual Service Plan for your son and the family. This process will include conversations with you, your child, and your Placement Worker(s), completion of a psychosocial assessment, observing your son’s behavior, and other evaluations as deemed necessary by the treatment team.

Everyone entering New Haven goes through a period of adjustment. Your child is in a new environment, surrounded by staff and peers he does not know very well. It can be scary for your son to be “the new kid,” and to adapt to a different set of rules and unfamiliar circumstances. A common reaction to all these changes is for your son to call you, asking to be taken home. It is important to be empathetic and consistent with your son in order for him to feel safe, cared for and secure.

 Treatment Planning

Within 30 days of treatment, a treatment team meeting will be held to discuss the results of your son’s assessments, his Individual Service Plan, and discuss progress in treatment. Since our treatment approach is child- and family-centered, you and your son are asked to be lead participants in this process. At the initial treatment meeting, treatment goals that were developed with you and your son will be discussed with the treatment team. Discharge and aftercare plans will also be discussed at this time and continually reviewed throughout treatment to prepare you and your son for his transition home from New Haven.

 Treatment Plan Reviews

The treatment team will meet at least every three months to discuss treatment progress as well as review, revise, and update the Individual Service Plan. As primary members of the Treatment Team, you and your son are asked to participate at every meeting and may call a treatment team meeting at any time during the course of treatment.

 Discharge Criteria and Planning

Graduation and transition is planned at the beginning of and throughout treatment. Criteria for graduation and transition from New Haven is a collaborative effort between the youth, family, and the treatment team. Discharge planning will include developing an aftercare plan, coordinating educational needs, and coordinating services in your community to ensure your son’s successful transition home and to maintain the improvements he has made once he leaves New Haven.

Staff Qualifications

New Haven’s clinical staff are comprised of licensed and licensed-eligible professionals who have experience working in the field with at-risk youth. The clinical staff act as the treatment leaders who are responsible for conducting individual, family, and group therapy with your son; assist in treatment development and its implementation; coordinate treatment within and outside of New Haven; and supervise the New Haven residential and school staff to ensure continuity of care.

All New Haven residential and school staff, many of whom possess a Bachelor’s Degree or Master’s degree, are trained in behavioral systems and interventions, understanding behavioral and mental health issues, recreational therapy, crisis intervention, CPR & First Aid, Medication distribution, and multiple other areas relevant to their work at New Haven to ensure that your son is in a safe, supportive, and structured environment to create a therapeutic climate for change.

 Chapter 3 – Services Provided

New Haven’s Phase & Level System

Upon admission, your son will receive an introduction to the phase and level system. The phase and level system is designed to help your child make positive changes and to monitor his behavior. Your son’s level is assessed throughout the day and evening. Staff members assess your son’s behaviors and assign a score from 1 to 4 for each period of the day. These behavioral assessment forms (BAFs) are averaged and determine your son’s level. The levels provide guidelines to help your child manage his impulses improve insight and promote growth on daily basis. The level system has three levels: Red – unsafe, Yellow – acceptable behaviors, and Green – excellent behaviors. These levels provide immediate feedback for reflection and insight for your son. Levels are evaluated and determined several times throughout the day, but a youth may immediately drop to a lower level if his behavior becomes unsafe.

As your son works through his treatment at New Haven, he will also progress though our phases: entering at Discovery, then Quest, moving up to Challenge, then to Navigation, and ultimately to Summit. Youth move through our phases by completing behavioral benchmarks and completion of a phase packet. Once all benchmarks are achieved the youth can move up to the next phase of treatment. Completion of the benchmarks is an indicator of sustained behavior change and a way to measure genuine progress. Unless there is an extremely extraordinary occurrence, once a child achieves a phase they will not move back to a lower phase.

Allowances, bedtimes, activities, and outings are determined by your son’s level and phase. The higher his level and phase, the greater the benefits; the lower his level and phase, the fewer the privileges and opportunities.

Individual Therapy

Residents receive individual therapy one or more times weekly with their Treatment Manager. This provides an opportunity for residents to build safe and supportive therapeutic relationships as well as learn new skills to change their behaviors.

New Haven utilizes Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) as a treatment approach in individual therapy with youth and their families. CBT is a highly individualized treatment model that allows us to tailor care for each youth based upon their individual strengths and needs.

The use of CBT is primarily to help youth learn to regulate their emotions, develop impulse control, and improve their behavior. CBT has also been found to be helpful when youth need to reduce feelings of anxiety or depression or when needing to change unhelpful thoughts and perceptions of situations or a way to manage their behaviors or reduce symptoms.

CBT helps youth learn to manage emotions that arise and take control of their own behavior and stop using the past as an excuse for dangerous or harmful behavior.

The key ingredient that separates CBT from simple behavioral therapy is that youth are helped to improve behaviors by learning new ways to look at or think about their past that may be preventing them from behaving more effectively in the present.

Family Therapy

New Haven believes that family involvement is a very important component of treatment. The program is designed to help families reintegrate and to adopt new patterns of interaction. This approach requires working together as a team. Working together means that all family members participate actively in treatment planning, family therapy, and incorporating the skills and interventions used at New Haven into their homes. While youth are taught skills such as Anger Management, Relaxation, Improved Communication and Impulse Control, parents/caregivers learn Parenting Strategies needed to successfully support the youth in utilizing these new skills after he returns home

Accordingly, families are required to be involved in Family Therapy and Treatment planning. Family Therapy with the Treatment Manager will occur as indicated in the treatment plan – generally 2-4 times per month. Since family involvement is important for the betterment of the residents, New Haven encourages at least one of the monthly family sessions be conducted face-to-face with the therapist and the youth at the New Haven campus.

Group Therapy

Group therapy is held one or more times weekly and is led by a member of the Clinical Team. In group therapy, your child has an opportunity to talk about his feelings with his peers in a positive and constructive fashion. Being a member of the group requires that your child provide respect to all other group members to insure a safe group environment. Groups will usually focus on topics such as zones of regulation, anger management, communication, social skills building, coping skills development, etc.

Milieu Treatment

At New Haven, Treatment occurs 24 hours a day in order to ensure that the treatment plan is implemented appropriately and consistently throughout the program.

The milieu is a supportive environment in which staff work with residents to provide a clean, safe, and therapeutically structured setting where residents can learn and practice new behaviors within a supportive and caring environment. A consistent routine is maintained, which fosters predictability and trust. The milieu structure helps residents contain negative behavior and provides an opportunity to learn appropriate behaviors through staff and peer feedback and behavioral modeling. New Haven provides a set of values and norms for behavior with the expectation that community members will participate in activities, value one another as individuals, and learn to care for themselves and their peers.

Interventions in the milieu are based on the principals of behavior modification. The basic tenets of Behavior modification indicate that 1) understanding why a child or youth behaves in a certain way and 2) replacing that behavior with a more appropriate behavior that serves the same function (or has the same outcome) can reduce the challenging behavior. At the core of this program is a need to provide a safe, structured, active, and consistent environment which includes clear schedules and expectations, individualized and age-appropriate rewards and consequences, and a focus on positive behavior to help shape and guide the youth’s behavior.

School and Vocational Opportunities

Daily school attendance is required for all residents. New Haven has an on-site Non-Public School and is available to residents if appropriate for their education. The Non-Public School is a year round school and all credits are transferrable to the youth’s home school district. Attendance at a local community school is also available.

New Haven offers engaging and interesting vocational preparation opportunities for residents in construction, culinary arts, woodworking, computers, and entrepreneurial skills with the goal of occupationally preparing students. All students, even those who have career interests or aspirations in other areas, will learn skills in resume writing, interviewing, budgeting, and job retention.

Your child’s behavior in school is determined by a daily assessment of behavior that integrates with the group home’s assessment of behavior. We provide this integrated system to help your son understand that treatment occurs in our program 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

New Haven’s Teacher and sometimes our Principal will attend Individualized Educational Plan (IEP) meetings with you, the Treatment Manager, district representatives, and other team members as appropriate to monitor your child’s school progress.

Medical and Mental Health Services

While at New Haven, residents will receive complete health and dental care including routine and preventative care such as physicals and check-ups as well as responsive care to address urgent medical issues or medical management of pre-existing issues. In addition to medical and dental care, residents will receive psychiatric evaluations and medication management services with a psychiatrist through the resident’s insurance. Since medication management is covered through the resident’s insurance, Health insurance must remain in effect throughout the youth’s placement at New Haven.

New Haven will provide for all routine and emergency healthcare needs within the area. Accordingly, the parent or legal guardian may have to transfer their child’s insurance coverage to San Diego County, if necessary. Every effort will be made to ensure that only covered healthcare providers will be utilized to minimize extra costs to parents. However, the parents or the legal guardians are responsibility to cover all incurred healthcare costs for their son during residential treatment. If a parent or legal guardian would like care be provided elsewhere, they will be responsible to cover healthcare needs and transportation for the youth.

Therapeutic Home Passes

Home passes are therapeutic in nature and are encouraged so that the youth and their family may practice the skills they are learning in treatment. Passes usually begin as “day passes” and eventually extend into “weekend passes” from Saturday to Sunday evening. Any passes longer than this time period may need to be approved by the youth’s placement worker or school district.

Since the purpose of these passes is to allow the family to spend time together and to practice the skills and tools they are learning in therapy, parents are expected to provide direct supervision during the entire pass. Additionally, time with friends and in the community should be limited and supervised by the parent.

Therapeutic home passes are a part of your child’s treatment plan, and each pass has specific goals and objectives. In accordance with this philosophy, parents will develop a Home Pass Goal sheet with the Treatment Manager for each pass and are asked to return them at the time of drop-off.

Substance Abuse Services

Residents entering New Haven with a history of substance abuse will be involved in counseling with their Treatment Manager and may attend a variety of community AA, NA or Alateen meetings as deemed appropriate by the treatment team. With parental permission, drug urine screens are completed routinely on residents with a history of chemical dependence or substance abuse.


Personal Items

Your child is asked to keep the personal items in his room to a minimum and New Haven supplies many of his needs such as sheets and towels, hygiene products, etc. However, we do want your child to feel comfortable and bring items that he uses regularly such as pictures from home, books, games, clothing, etc. Residents may protect items from damage and theft by storing them in a personal box inside a locked office and are strongly encouraged to utilize this opportunity. The following are examples of items that residents are encouraged to protect: MP3 players, Jewelry/Watches, Personal Video Games, DVDs & CD’s, collecting cards, items of personal significance, etc. Please note that New Haven staff are not responsible for any item not signed into a resident’s personal box or while in the resident’s possession for any length of time.

Residents are not allowed to borrow, lend, or trade any personal possessions, clothing, or money with any other residents for any reason, even with parental consent. Residents found to be in possession of other residents’ belongings will be considered to be in possession of contraband and treated accordingly.


Valuables such as rings, jewelry, credit cards, expensive clothing, money, gift cards, irreplaceable items, and electronics are not to be kept at New Haven. Residents are strongly discouraged from bringing important items into the residence and do so at their own risk.

Resident Clothing

It is estimated that your son should bring approximately 2-3 weeks’ worth of clothing with them at admission. This should include clothing appropriate for school, recreation and athletics, and sleeping. Residents are discouraged from bringing important, expensive, or name-brand clothing, sneakers, and hats. Due to space constraints, it is unlikely that residents would be able to protect expensive clothing by storing them in the staff office. New Haven is not responsible for theft or damage of items in the resident’s possession. Please check with your Treatment Manager for additional information.


Your child is responsible for keeping his room organized, clean, and his bed made. Your child is to change his own linens and towels weekly. Your son will be provided with a bulletin board to display pictures and personal messages.

Chores and Allowances

As part of the treatment plan, New Haven residents are offered the opportunity to learn independent living skills such as completing house chores, the value of earning money and delaying gratification by saving their money. Your son will have chores assigned to help keep the shared areas of his house clean and well maintained. As compensation for completing these chores, your child will receive an allowance that is determined by his phase and level.


Your child should keep his clothing clean and in acceptable condition. Laundry machines are located at each house and New Haven will supply the detergent. The staff will make the laundry room available and provide training if necessary to residents.


Incoming mail will be distributed to your son by house staff. In addition, outgoing mail may be given to New Haven staff to be picked up by the routine postal service. Packages may be left at the house for delivery to your child. We recommend that all packages have your child’s name written clearly on the front to insure that they get to the correct person. The staff checks all packages and mail when your son opens them for items not allowed in the program (see Contraband).



New Haven fosters a clean and safe environment for their residents, staff, and visitors. All of the buildings, houses, and the grounds are routinely check to ensure that they are up to standard. If you observe any problems with lights, heating, air conditioning, or furniture while visiting your child, please report them to the staff on duty so that it may be addressed immediately.


Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are prepared each day for your child. Snacks (fresh fruit) are available at the house for your child each evening.


While residents need little to no money while staying at New Haven, residents may use their allowances on weekly outings and store runs. All cash belonging to a resident is to be kept in a locked box inside the staff office to minimize loss & theft. Parents are asked not to give residents money without the staff or Treatment Manager’s knowledge or send their son back from home passes with money in their possession. All cash will be turned over to staff upon the resident’s return from home passes. Please note that New Haven is not responsible for any money that is not signed into a resident’s account or money that is in the resident’s possession.


Free Time Recreation and Activities

During non-structured time, your child has the opportunity to read, watch television, listen to music, play games, etc. Your child is asked to be considerate of others when using personal radios or stereos. Music explicitly promoting racism, drugs/alcohol, sexual behavior, cults or violence is prohibited.

Your son may be eligible for group educational and/or recreational outings in the community based upon their level and phase. New Haven encourages community outings to the library, parks, movies, universities and colleges. They are also encouraged to attend special events such as holiday events and sports activities.


Restricted Items

Some items, such as razors, nail clippers, glass, and other items are allowed at New Haven but with restricted use. New Haven staff will keep all potentially harmful objects locked in the staff office until they are needed. They have to be checked out for use but must be returned to staff promptly immediately thereafter. Any medications brought to New Haven will need approval of the attending psychiatrist and must be checked by the staff nurse.


Prohibited Items (Contraband)

Items prohibited at New Haven include weapons, drugs or alcohol, matches, lighters and cigarettes. Personal cameras and/or recording devices may not be kept at New Haven to protect the confidentiality of other residents. Additional contraband items are listed in our Contraband Policy.

Telephone Calls

A phone is located in each house for use by residents. Calls are limited to 10 minutes and phone calls must take place during free time. Residents are never prohibited from accessing and contacting their parent/legal guardian, social worker, or Community Care Licensing.

Damage to New Haven Property

Your child is responsible for the condition of his room. Damage should be reported immediately to the staff members. Your child may be required to pay for damage to New Haven or another resident’s property through restitution using allowance or extra chores.

Room Security

For the safety of our residents, our staff members make regular inspections of resident rooms. Your child is asked to be present in their rooms when inspections are made.

Religious Services

Your son is allowed to attend religious services and activities provided that he is safe to go off campus and you consent to him doing so. New Haven will arrange transportation as needed.


Family members are welcome to visit as long as it does not interfere with your son’s treatment or the treatment program. Other visitors must be 18 years of age or above, or accompanied by a parent and authorized by a parent or guardian. It is preferable that visits occur on the weekend so as not to disrupt the structured schedule of the week. Visiting may take place in the living room, outside or in other areas designated by staff. Visitors who smell of alcohol, who act intoxicated or who display inappropriate behavior may be asked to leave New Haven property. Please call your Treatment Manager at least one day prior to your visit to coordinate with the treatment schedule.

 Chapter 5 – Rules and Expectations

Community rules have been established to ensure that the treatment milieu is safe, and that each individual in the community respects the rights of others.

The goal of New Haven’s program is to provide consistency and continuity. Rules related to the safety of residents and staff, and maintaining the integrity of the Treatment Program, will be followed closely and consistently. When rules are broken, it is our goal to respond and intervene in a timely, non-punitive, and growth-promoting manner.

The rules of New Haven may not be absolutely comprehensive; therefore, New Haven staff members may be called upon to interpret New Haven Rules and Regulations.

Major Rules

  1. Residents must remain in their assigned area and within staff’s eyesight at all times. Leaving the house or school without permission or unattended by staff will be considered AWOL.
  2. Residents must be respectful of other’s physical space. Assaultive or aggressive behavior towards staff or other residents will not be tolerated. This includes physical or verbal provocation.
  3. Residents must respect the property of New Haven and other residents. Property destruction and/or stealing is not permitted.
  4. Residents must be clean and free from substance use at all times, including home passes. Drug, alcohol, and/or tobacco use is not permitted. Talk glorifying drug and alcohol use is prohibited.
  5. Residents must be sexually appropriate at all times. Sexual behavior or romantic relationships between residents and any other persons is prohibited. Sexually suggestive or inappropriate language is also prohibited.
  6. Self-destructive behaviors including cutting oneself, hitting walls, biting oneself, etc., are not permitted. Suicidal talk and gestures will be responded to immediately by the treatment team.
  7. All people at New Haven have a right to be here without the threat of harm. Behavior of any kind that could harm you or anyone else at New Haven, whether intentionally or accidentally, is prohibited.


Dress Code

Appropriate attire is expected during your child’s stay. Clothing must be clean and in good repair. The following dress code is enforced for the safety and well-being of all residents at New Haven:

Clothing or accessories associated with or “tagged” with graffiti, symbols, or initials that depict “gang,” “club,” “crew,” “group,” or “clique” affiliation are prohibited. Outfits of one color, including Black and white, are not allowed.

Clothing or accessories associated with or depicting sports teams (any), sexually suggestive language or pictures, profanity, racially-related materials, and/or drugs, alcohol, or tobacco or prohibited.

Pants must fit properly and must be worn at waist level. Excessively “Wide,” “Baggy,” or “Huge” pants are prohibited. Pants and belts may not be greater than 3” of the waist size.  Undergarments (including boxers & undershirts) or skin must not be visible. Pants may not drag on the ground and must be hemmed (no staples, tacks, etc.)

Long shorts may not be worn with knee socks. Legs must be visible.

Bandanas, head scarves, hairnets and “do rags” (except at bedtime) are prohibited. Hats, hoods, sunglasses, and gloves shall not be worn indoors. When outdoors, sport caps may be worn but must be worn properly and cannot be worn to the back or to the side.

Belt buckles with initials or symbols are not allowed. Safety Pins as accessories or jewelry are not allowed. Youth may not wear piercings with studs or spikes.

Shoes must be worn at all times, including indoors, and appropriate to the activity. Slippers may be worn in the house only. Steel-toed boots (except when active in YouthBuild) are prohibited.

Hair length must be at least “pinch-able” in length. Residents shall not have shaved heads. Dreadlocks and Mohawks are not permitted. Hair shall be well kept, clean, free of pests, and odorless.

Fingernails and toenails shall be well maintained, clean, and shall not extend beyond the length of the nail bed.

Youths shall be appropriately clothed for the scheduled activity.

Contraband Items


New Haven considers the following items to be contraband. This list is not all-inclusive and therefore items that are not listed may be considered contraband by the program. If any of the listed materials are found to be in the possession of a resident, they will be confiscated and labeled with the resident’s name. The items will then either be sent home to parents, destroyed, or the police may be called in cases of unlawful possession.

  • Any weapon including, but not limited to: firearms, explosives, fireworks, forks, screwdrivers, knives or other sharp objects, slingshots, bats, sticks, socks, pillowcases, or other items stuffed with weighted items, wire, string, clubs, scissors, or any other sharp, sharpened, or manufactured item
  • Cigarettes, Electronic Cigarettes (e-Cigs), cigars, chewing tobacco, snuff, pipes, rolling papers, or other tobacco products, lighters, matches, or any other smoking material
  • “White Out” (liquid paper), spray paint, modeling glue, or any other inhalant
  • Any controlled substance including, but not limited to, marijuana or beer
  • All alcohol-based products including, but not limited to, mouthwash, after-shave, or witch hazel
  • Any medication, including over-the-counter medication such as cough medicine, vitamins, and herbal supplements
  • Aerosol cans, including any/all sample size body or deodorant sprays
  • Posters, music items, or artwork such as sexually inappropriate, pornographic, profane, racially or sexually derogatory material
  • Items belonging to other residents, staff members, or New Haven property
  • Cell Phones, cameras, and electronics capable of wifi connections or video recording (Please speak to your youth’s Treatment Manager)
  • Any material or item that a reasonable adult may interpret to be gang related
  • Permanent Markers, Paints, or Spray Paints
  • Any clothing that violates the New Haven Dress Code
  • Any chemical agent, including bleach
  • Computers, televisions, gaming systems that plug into televisions, or anything that may connect to the Internet
  • Parental advisory CDs
  • Caffeine or products that contain caffeine, including energy drinks
  • Any movies that are rated other than G, PG, or PG13 or deemed thematically inappropriate by a supervisor
  • Any video games rated other than E or T or deemed thematically inappropriate by a supervisor
  • Any item prohibited in a resident’s individual treatment plan



To ensure the safety of all staff and residents in the home and agency, New Haven Youth & Family Services reserves the right to search a resident, their personal area and/or their belongings at any time there is reasonable suspicion that a resident may have returned to the facility from an outing, pass, school, or AWOL with contraband item(s) on his person.

If it becomes necessary to conduct a search of personal space or belongings, the following policy is in effect:

  • In most cases, searches will be conducted with the resident present unless warranted by urgency or increased risk.
  • Searches will be done in a way that is respectful of a resident’s rights and dignity.
  • Searches will generally include a thorough search of the residence including the surrounding grounds and the residents’ rooms including but not limited to under mattresses, behind furniture, and throughout all personal items including clean and dirty clothes.
  • Great care will be taken to ensure no damage occurs to the resident’s belongings

In the most serious cases where it is believed that there may be a risk of imminent danger to the resident or others, it may be necessary to conduct a personal search. If this occurs, it is New Haven’s strict policy that this is done with the utmost professionalism and respect. A resident will never be subjected to a strip search.

If it becomes necessary to conduct a search of the resident’s person, the following policy is in effect:

  • Two (2) male staff will always be present
  • At no time will a resident ever be touched during the process
  • A resident will never be forced to comply with a personal search. However, a refusal to participate constitutes admission and will be treated as such (including police involvement if warranted).

Parents are strongly asked to help keep all of our residents and staff safe by ensuring that your child does not return to the residence with items listed or with any item that could be harmful in any way. In some cases, a resident may be permitted to possess an item that may otherwise might be considered contraband. In these cases, parents are asked to transfer the item directly to a staff member so that the item can be safely stored by staff until it is needed by the resident.

Other New Haven Rules

  1. Inhibiting staff access to any part of the house including barricading doorways is not permitted
  2. Piercings of any kind are not allowed while at New Haven. Inappropriate or bizarre make-up is prohibited. The parent or guardian must authorize hair coloring or any special hair treatment and must be present for such treatment.
  3. Hobby equipment such as scissors, markers, latch hooks, needlework, etc., are not allowed in resident rooms. They may be stored by staff and checked out during appropriate times.
  4. Headphones are permitted at staff discretion and during quiet time.
  5. Musical instruments are allowed only when approved by the treatment team for therapeutic issues, due to a lack of adequate storage space.


Logical consequences, based upon the rule violation, will be given to your son. New Haven places a high priority on the safety and well-being of all youth and staff members.

Current consequences for rule violations are posted in each house and a copy is available upon request.

If you have questions

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to call your child’s Treatment Manager at (760) 630-4035



New Haven’s primary responsibility is the safety of all of its residents. Non-emergency interventions are the normal tools used to help shape a child’s behavior. Tools such as Time-outs, Verbal Redirection, Rewards & Consequences, and other forms of behavior modification usually prove to be the most effective.

There are times when less restrictive interventions become ineffective. In times like these, New Haven utilizes a continuum of interventions starting with the least restrictive, which serve to protect the youth and those around him. It is the policy of New Haven that Emergency Intervention be utilized only when a youth presents an imminent danger to himself or others. The following interventions may be used in times of crisis:

  1. Protective Separation Room (PSR) – When a youth is unable to gain control of himself and presents a potential danger to himself or others, he may be escorted to the PSR, an empty room where he can be closely monitored & supervised until he is able to calm down and rejoin the community.
  2. Physical Intervention – All staff at new Haven are extensively trained to physically intervene in an emergency. Physical interventions provide the youth with direct feedback that his behavior has become unsafe and it lets him and all youths know that the staff will keep him and all youths safe.
  3. Hospitalization (Voluntary or Involuntary) – When physical interventions are proven to be insufficient and the youth continues to pose a high risk of danger to himself or others, temporary hospitalization may be considered to provide a safe environment for the youth to be re-evaluated and gain control of himself.
  4. Law Enforcement – In cases of AWOL, assault, severe property destruction, or other illegal behavior, the police may be called to assist. The police may assist in getting the youth admitted into juvenile hall or the hospital. The use of law enforcement personnel alerts the youth that his behavior now requires the use of a higher level of societal control.
  5. Transfers – Out-of-Agency transfers are considered only when it is truly believed that New Haven cannot meet the needs of the youth and a move to a different environment or to a higher level of care is necessary for the safety of the youth and other residents.

Parents are notified either prior to or within 24 hours of any interventions taken and immediately anytime the resident is removed from the property.

 AWOL Plan & Protocol

A resident is considered AWOL anytime that they purposefully leave staff’s supervision and/or sight without permission. Note: this includes purposefully evading or hiding from staff even if the resident is still in the home or on New Haven property. In order to protect the safety of our residents and members of the community, New Haven takes the following steps to address AWOLs.

  1.  When a child verbalizes he is going to go AWOL, the staff will attempt to provide one-to-one counseling to address the youth’s needs and fears.
  2. If a youth leaves the facility, staff will continue to verbally attempt to get him to return through the house. However, staff cannot take any action that jeopardizes the safety of other residents or leave the other residents unsupervised.
  3. If a child’s whereabouts are unknown staff will immediately conduct a thorough search of the residence & grounds.
  4. Once AWOL, a youth will be given a limited amount of time to return to the residence on their own. New Haven’s policy is to allow up to 2 hours for a youth to return, though many circumstances including age, mental health, time of day, may result in a much shorter period of time. If a youth does not return within the established time limit, the Police will be contacted and a “Missing Persons Report” will be filed. Additionally, the Program Specialist will contact the family and Placement worker to inform them that the youth is AWOL.
  5. When a youth returns, either on their own, or with assistance, staff will conduct a search of the youth and all their personal belongings to ensure that no contraband is brought into the house. Additionally, the Program Specialist will inform the family & Placement Worker of the youth’s return.

Special Notes:

  •  Staff may attempt to follow a youth, when it does not compromise the supervision of the remaining residents. However, in some cases, staff will decide not to follow a youth off grounds as this can escalate the situation.
  • Physical interventions are used only to prevent serious behaviors where the youth is in definite and imminent danger. Thus, physical interventions are not typically used as a means to prevent AWOLs. However, the child’s age, size, emotional, behavioral, and developmental level are taken into account when determining how to respond to AWOL behaviors and in some cases, the risk warrants physical intervention. This will be documented in the youth’s behavioral plan.
  • Recurrent AWOLs may require modifications to the Treatment Plan or Behavioral Plan. If AWOLS are excessive and New Haven is not able to safely maintain the youth, removal from the program may be necessary.

Chapter 7 – Resident Rights & Confidentiality


Each person receiving services from a community care facility and/or a child daycare facility shall have rights which include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • To be accorded dignity in his personal relationship with staff and other persons.
  • To be accorded safe, healthful and comfortable accommodations, furnishings and equipment to meet his needs.
  • To be free from corporal or unusual punishment, infliction of pain, humiliation, intimidation, ridicule, coercion, threat, mental abuse, or other actions of a punitive nature. These including but are not limited to interference with the daily living functions such as eating, sleeping, or toileting, or withholding of shelter, clothing, medication or aids to physical functioning.
  • To be informed, and to have the authorized representative informed by the licensee of the provisions of law regarding complaints including, but not limited to, the address and telephone number of the licensing agency’s complain receiving unit, and of information regarding confidentiality.
  • To be free to attend religious services, either in or outside the facility, on a completely voluntary basis (in child daycare facilities, decisions concerning attendance at religious services or visits from spiritual advisors shall be made by the parents or guardians of the child).
  • To leave or depart the facility at any time, except for house rules designed for the protection of clients, or for minors and others for whom legal authority has been established. (Pertains to Community Care facilities only).
  • Not to be locked in any room, building or facility premises by day or night.
  • Not to be placed in restraining devices.
  • When, in the judgment of a physician, a patient is restricted to bed rest or prohibited access to the outdoors, the order is reviewed at least every three days.

In addition to the above, each person provided services by a residential facility should have and may exercise the following rights:

  • To visit the facility with his relatives or authorized representative prior to admission.
  • To have his relatives or authorized representative regularly informed of activities related to care and supervision including, but not limited to, modifications to needs and services plan.
  • To have communications to the facility from his relatives or authorized representative answered promptly and completely.
  • To be informed of the facility’s policy concerning family visits and other communication with clients. This policy shall encourage regular family involvement and provide ample opportunities for family participation in activities at the facility.
  • To have visitors, including advocacy representatives, visit privately during waking hours provided such visitations do not infringe upon the rights of other clients, unless prohibited by court order or the authorized representative.
  • To wear his own clothes, to possess and control his own cash resources, to possess and use his own personal items, including his own toilet articles.
  • To have access to individual storage space for his private use.
  • To mail and receive unopened correspondence unless prohibited by court order or by the authorized representative.
  • To have ready access to letter writing materials and stamps.
  • To move from the facility in accordance with the terms of the admission agreement.
  • To have access to telephones, to make and receive confidential calls, provided such calls do not infringe on the rights of other clients and do not restrict availability of telephone in emergencies.
    • The licensee shall be permitted to require reimbursement from the child or his authorized representative for long distance calls.
    • The licensee shall be permitted to prohibit long distance calls upon documentation that requested reimbursement for previous long distance calls has not been received.
    • Calls permitted to be prohibited as a form of discipline shall not include calls to the child’s authorized representative or placement agency.

Complaint Procedure

The California Code of Regulation states that each youth admitted to a residential facility must be afforded certain personal rights. You will be provided a copy of these rights separately. If you feel that your rights have been violated, you or your authorized representative have the right to make a formal complaint against a person, house, or the agency, without fear of retaliation. Residents and their authorized representatives are encouraged to resolve problems directly with New Haven staff members.

The following are the steps you should take to ensure that your complaint is treated with the utmost seriousness:

  1. First, fill out the Resident Grievance Form. Copies of these forms should be posted in your house.
  2. Once completed, give the completed form to your Program Specialist
  3. Your Program Specialist will respond to you within 1 week and will work with you to attempt to resolve the issue to your satisfaction.
  4. If after you speak with your Program Specialist your complaint is not addressed to your satisfaction, you have the right to request a meeting with one of the agency’s Program Directors.
  5. The Program Director will respond to you within 1 week and will work very hard to make sure that the issue is resolved to your satisfaction.
  6. If you believe that the issue has still not been resolved, you have the right, at any time, to contact the Community Care Licensing Department by calling (619) 767.2301.

A copy of this complaint procedure and Residents Grievance forms can always be found in each of the New Haven residences. If for any reason you believe that you do not have easy access to one of these forms, please notify your Program Specialist immediately.

Feedback and Input

We want to assure you that we will make every attempt to ensure that your time here at New Haven is a safe, therapeutic experience. The Resident Complaint Procedure is a right not a privilege and it is one that we take very seriously. But it’s also just one form of communication.

If you would like to share your feedback or have any further questions or concerns you can always meet with your Treatment Manager to discuss them. Additionally, there is an anonymous suggestion box in the main office. Finally, satisfaction surveys will be distributed to you at the time of discharge. Your feedback will be used to help us better meet the needs of current and future residents.

Confidentiality Policy

 All employees of New Haven Youth & Family Services are bound by a strict policy of confidentiality in most cases so that any and all information about you, your family members, and your personal life may not be used, discussed or disclosed to anyone outside of New Haven for any reason. There are times when it becomes necessary to speak to or with another person, agency, or service provider on your behalf. In these instances, information can only be shared with your written and verbal consent (as documented on the Release of Information form). Therefore, the majority of the information that you disclose to us will remain between you and the members of your Treatment Team.

Mandated Reporting

There are specific situations that require breaking confidentiality. All Treatment Team members are Mandated Reporters. This means that under the laws of the State of California, the Treatment Manager, Program Specialist, Teacher, Child Care Workers, and almost all other New Haven employees are required to report information to the police or other government social service agencies regarding the following situations:

  •  Threat to harm self or others
  • Incident(s) revealed about child abuse, whether actual or suspected, including physical abuse, sexual abuse, and neglect;
  • Incidents revealed about dependent adults or elderly abuse including physical abuse, sexual abuse, neglect, abandonment and fiduciary abuse;

If the youth or any family member/caregiver make statements regarding any of the above topics to any member of the Treatment Team, reports must be made to the appropriate agency as required by law.