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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Private Organization Accreditation

White's Residential & Family Services is Indiana's largest social services agency offering accredited and comprehensive residential, foster care, independent living, adoption, and home-based services.


Rochelle Haimes, ACSW

Volunteer Roles: Commissioner; Peer Reviewer; Standards Panel Member; Team Leader

Rochelle is a Consultant working with a variety of private organizations to become accredited. Her primary area of expertise is in facilitating the development of PQI systems and activities. Her previous experience with both small and large organizations is the cornerstone for her long-standing volunteer activities as a Peer reviewer and as a Team Leader.
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