Lawrence Hall Youth Services, Chicago, IL

Clinically Appropriate Length of Stay: Youth and Staff Driven Process for Residential Program Re-Design

Abstract: Lawrence Hall Youth Services’ (LHYS) 48-bed residential and 16-bed family community home (Group Home) treatment programs serve adolescent boys, most of whomare wards of the state of Illinois. Its programs are located in Chicago, Illinois, a major urban center. Historically, lengths of stay in these aggregate care programs have averaged 14-16 months. In an attempt to reduce average lengths of stay and move clients through the treatment programs in a clinically appropriate manner, LHYS has implemented a youth- and staff driven process to re-design the core structure of the program. Staff and youth were involved in each stage of the process, which promoted buy-in and valuable perspectives. The treatment program was re-designed to reflect clearly defined “phases of treatment”and accompanying treatment objectives. Clients were given more ownership over the team staffing and treatment planning process. Celebratory community rituals, based upon a balanced and restorative justice framework, were integrated into each phase of treatment, which enhanced meaning and increased motivation for treatment. Family engagement was also seen as a critical variable in supporting more clinically appropriate lengths of stay.

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Orange County Government, Youth & Family Services Division

Rodney J. Hrobar Sr., LMHC, CPP, Quality Assurance Manager

As the lead agency in Orange County, providing the safety net for children and families, it is reassuring that our clients can be confident that their needs will be addressed in accordance with the most stringent standards of public, as well as private, accountability as monitored and reviewed by the Council on Accreditation. 
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