Frequently Asked Questions

1. How long do residents stay at Heartlight?

The average stay for young people at Heartlight is 9–12 months. Changes of heart take time, and they require commitment on the part of the parents to stick with the program, no matter how difficult it is to be away from the child. The child will at first drag his or her heels and then after 2–3 months will settle in, allowing the counseling and the overall program to begin to spark a new way of thinking.

The 9–12 month program also provides time for parents to complete the series of three retreats required by the Heartlight program. It is critically important for the student to see his or her parents also making an effort to “change.” The Heartlight mission is to get kids back home as soon as possible after a true “change of heart” has taken place. Since there are always more needy teens waiting to get in, our staff never extends a child’s time beyond what is necessary for completion of the program.

2. Do the residents attend public school or do you offer schooling at Heartlight?

All residents attend school on property at the Educational Building using online curriculum through Park City Independent or Texas Tech University High School.  Each school is fully accredited and gives students an excellent alternative to public school to earn their high school credits. The curriculum is worked on independently but the residents do receive as much assistance as needed from the certified teachers on staff at Heartlight.

3. What does a child’s stay at Heartlight cost?

Please send in the contact form to receive our current rates or call 903-668-2173.

4. What role do parents play in their child’s stay at Heartlight?
Parents play a vital role. Parents are asked to attend and participate in three Family retreats and a series of three Parent Retreats that do not involve the residents. Through the years we’ve found that the single most important variable involved in the success of a child’s stay at Heartlight is the parent’s commitment to the process. This includes their support and trust of the staff, program, philosophy, and guidelines. We feel like this happens best when parents understand the intent of the program, communicate with the staff, cooperate with our directives, and do not get manipulated by their child.

5. What does the counseling program at Heartlight involve?

The foundation of the Heartlight counseling program is Biblical truth. Each kid will meet weekly with their assigned Heartlight counselor and will attend two different small groups throughout the week. Heartlight counselors will spend their time initially building a relationship with each resident with the purpose of earning the right to be heard. Once this right has been earned, they will put into practice their training and wisdom to help each individual move towards maturity and responsibility in their thinking and behaviors.

6. What types of activities does Heartlight have for the residents?

Heartlight believes in the seriousness of counseling and dealing with issues and struggles, and at the same time believes that activities must be provided for fun and active involvement of the kids with our staff. Heartlight’s activities include water skiing, fishing, horseback riding a rappelling and rock climbing tower, swimming, waverunners, water skiing, paintball, basketball, tennis, Frisbee golf, golf, softball, pottery, photography, biking, aerobics and weight lifting, as well as other lake activities. We work very hard on issues and problems…but we also have our fair share of play.

7. How many kids does Heartlight deal with at one time?

Heartlight is licensed and regulated by the Department of Family and Protective Services to house 59 kids. Heartlight’s strives to maintain 56 residents at all times.

8. Is Heartlight affiliated with any particular church?

Heartlight is a non-denominational Christian ministry, and is not affiliated with any one church. Heartlight utilizes a Biblical counseling model that brings the message of Jesus Christ to the lives of residents in a non-threatening way. We do not “force-feed” kids with the Gospel, and have no requirements for their spiritual growth in order to progress through the Level System. The staff’s background in church ministry, Young Life, Campus Life, Campus Crusade, camping ministries and other residential facilities, have all come together to develop the very best program possible to meet the needs of our Heartlight residents. Read our statement of faith.

9. Is Heartlight co-ed?

Yes, Heartlight has both boys and girls on campus in separate housing units. Heartlight believes that it is important for each sex to learn how to have an appropriate relationship and have healthy boundaries with the opposite sex. All interactions are closely supervised by all staff and are used as teaching moments to help each child learn to handle relationships in more mature ways. We currently have 31 girls and 25 boys on campus.

10. What type of kid does Heartlight take?

Heartlight takes kids who are struggling with many issues that life has thrown them. We deal with kids that have somehow found themselves lost and not sure where to turn next. It is Heartlight’s belief that all kids are good kids and the ones we have are no different. In a world that is very confusing and dark, we wish to offer hope to kids and families that need it.