In one of the FAM meetings early this year, Martin gave a seminar on the Continuum of Care, a post-treatment program offered by SELF for those in Reentry and Aftercare. He stressed the importance of establishing the principles governing this approach in the home setting. I liked the fact that the program was to be established in consonance with the resident, his family and the SELF program. I personally felt that this was absolutely necessary as residents will need a continuity of direction after leaving their structured life at SELF.

My son Richard has done well in the program and I was determined to pursue the same love, concern and discipline that the SELF Family gave him all that time. I felt that to leave SELF and return to the family without proper guidelines would be counter-productive. My wife and I had always backed the program during the 21 months that our son was in the SELF TC. When this post-treatment course was first introduced, we immediately supported it.

On August 11, we welcomed Program Manager Lea Tumbado and Program Head Karlo Aliling to our home in Tagaytay for our first Continuum of Care planning meeting. Richard, my wife and I sat down with them to discuss the rules, plans, commitments and expectations of the program. For our guide we used the eight principles of Continuing Care, namely, Mutual Help, Structure, Rules, Responsibilities, Behavioral Expectations, Role Modeling, Feedback Mechanisms and Therapeutic Learning Interventions.

 The meeting focused on the future and left all that was past behind. The conversation flowed freely and everyone participated, sharing particular concerns, wishes, and hopes for a brighter future. We ultimately voted on and drew up a list of Dos and Don’ts. Later, my son Richard and I compared views on curfew hours and came to a compromise. We also discussed other concerns and formulated agreements on the Daily Schedule, Family Activities & Events, Family Meetings, House Utilization Plan, and House Duty Agreements.

I feel that it is very important that we were able to lay out all these points before our son began to live at home once again. If your loved one is either in Reentry or Aftercare, ask the SELF staff about the Continuum of Care program. It’s only been a few months since we got it going but we’re quite happy with the results thus far.