How can my family join SandCastles?

Whether you are looking to join our year-round program or to have your children attend SandCastles Camp, the very first step is a phone call to our main line, 313-771-7005. We are also able to answer some questions via email at sandcastles@hfhs.org. Once we have spoken to you on the phone, our Office Coordinator will schedule an appointment for you with one of our Intake Coordinators.

Because we are committed to confidentiality for our families, we are only able to complete phone intakes with the legal guardian of all children enrolling, or with permission from the legal guardian to speak to another representative for the children. We recognize that following a death, sometimes the guardianship process is confusing or complicated for many families. If you are unsure what you may need to do to enroll children at SandCastles, please give us a call and we will assist you in moving through the SandCastles enrollment process.

Please go to our SandCastles Camp page for more information about enrolling your children at camp. Children do NOT need to be currently enrolled in our year-round program to attend camp.

What happens during the phone intake for SandCastles program?

The Intake Coordinator will call you at your scheduled time to complete a phone intake. During this phone call, we will ask you to please share about the person(s) who died and how the death has impacted your children and family. We will also ask some questions about your children’s behavior (has anything changed since the death?), other services you have received, and whether your child has any allergies, health conditions, or special needs that we would need to be aware of for program. The purpose of these questions is to ensure that we are the best possible service for your family. For some families, we recommend seeking one-on-one counseling in addition to SandCastles, or perhaps there is another resource near you that will be beneficial for your children. Our goal is to provide you with the tools you need to help your family heal.

We will ask some questions about your family’s demographics. These questions are to assist us with writing grants for program funding, as we are dependent on grants and donations to run our program. You are able to decline to answer these questions.

The Intake Coordinator will also discuss basic program information and will send some resources to your family (sometimes books or activity packets) to offer support until you are able to join a program site.

Feeling nervous about your phone intake? Please know we care about you and want to help your family. Check out our list of things to think about before an intake.

What happens after the phone intake?

The Intake Coordinator will send you paperwork that must be completed and signed prior to enrolling in our program. They will also indicate if there are any additional forms they will need from you, such as guardianship papers or a consent form to speak to a therapist or case worker.

Once we have received your signed paperwork, the Clinical Coordinator of your preferred site location will give you a call. They will have additional information about the program site and often a few additional questions to follow up the phone intake. Occasionally, some of our program sites experience a wait list; if that is the case, your Clinical Coordinator will discuss with you what this means and offer options. Our goal is to help you begin at program as soon as possible after the intake. Together with your Clinical Coordinator, you will select your first program date to attend, and they will add your family to the list of attendees for program.

What happens on my first program night?

On your first night, you will be welcomed into program! Your Clinical Coordinator will have sent you all the information about finding the program site, what time to arrive, and where to go when you get there. Your family will be greeted by staff and volunteers, and then make name tags to wear at each program night. You will join the other families for dinner and fellowship, your children can meet others in their small group, and everyone can start to get comfortable. All are accepted, welcomed, and supported here.

For more information on a typical program night at SandCastles, please visit our Year-Round Program page.

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