Hope Ranches residential program revolves around a five tiered level system. All children/youth begin at the lowest level. Through honest achievement child/youth can work their way up, earning respect and privileges along the way. Modeling after the ranch component of the program, the levels consist of the following, in ascending order and with their phase objective listed:
Level advancement opportunities occur once a week. However, once a child/youth has achieved a level, he/she is required to remain on that level for a period of time in order to demonstrate that the child/youth is ready for the challenges at that level. Additionally, the child/youth must take appropriate time to prepare for the next level. Each resident desiring to advance completes the Level Advancement application by presenting their case why they should move to the next level and gives it to the team leader in his/her group. Team staff approves or deny the application based on careful consideration of the particular child/youth’s genuine preparation and merit. Team members also provide feedback to the child/youth. The child/youth then must attend a team or committee meeting, which resembles a job interview, in which he/she will state the reasons why she/he thinks level advancement, is warranted. The student must then answer questions from the members of that committee. The staff then makes a decision as to whether or not the child/youth merits a level advancement or not. If the child/youth is denied, staff will offer feedback about their decision. As each child/youth move through the level system, she/he is encouraged to move from external controls to internal ones; from simple compliance to genuine desire to change.
The goal at Hope Ranch is to increase the self esteem and life skills competency of each child/youth as well as to ensure their emotional, mental, and physical safety.