Our goal is to guide young people back into mainstream society through the use of Individual Plans designed to fill as many needs as possible — social, emotional, academic, physical, etc.  We work with both the parents and the resident to set goals that will lead to success.  In some cases, until the resident is willing to evaluate and take responsibility for his actions and work on his program instead of against it, staff may assist in goal setting.  These goals will be based upon information given by parents and the observations of counselors and support staff.  To achieve this initial step, communication, support, understanding and goal setting are essential between parents, resident, and staff. However, it is vital to achieve a level where there exists common communication, support, understanding, and goal setting between all three parties.

Once your son chooses to take responsibility for his actions and accept control of his own life, true change can begin.  As trust develops, the individualized program will be able to increase in its efficiency.  Short-term objectives are stepping-stones to the future and may be reset and re-evaluated as often as every day.  Long-term objectives may include a high school diploma, a grade caught up, placement in a junior or technical college, and ultimately a return back into the family unit.

 After your son has been with us for a month or so (even up to several months), he usually decides it is not all fun and games.  Program work, classwork, restrictions, and a change in comfort zone are all part of the program.  Consequently, there begins a process of “change.”  The “bottom-line” is to encourage your son to work within his program.  At this point, he may try to manipulate you into pulling him out of the program.  Whenever this has happened, it has been disastrous for all concerned.  Be firm with your son and possibly talk with a parent who has already been through this experience.

 Just remember that things get better as your son learns to make better choices.  Some residents take longer than others to realize that their program lies within themselves.  Please persevere . . . we will.