Title

Counseling Techniques for Working with at-Risk Youth in Residential and Outpatient Settings

First Presenter's Institution

Clemson University

Second Presenter's Institution

Clemson University

Third Presenter's Institution

Clemson University

Fourth Presenter's Institution

Clemson University

Fifth Presenter's Institution

Clemson University

Location

Harborside East & West

Strand #1

Mental & Physical Health

Relevance

In the area of mental and physical health. The effectiveness of therapeutic group homes has been questioned as an effective form of treatment for at-risk youth. This presentation will examine the recidivism rates of a sample of at-risk youth who participated in an established group home program. While least restrictive interventions are the primary mode of treatment for adolescents, therapeutic group homes still offer an alternative to training school and long stays in local detention centers for adolescents who may have failed in other therapeutic modalities.

Brief Program Description

The effectiveness of therapeutic group homes has been questioned as an effective form of treatment for at-risk youth. This presentation will examine the recidivism rates of at-risk youth who participated in an established residential group home program, and what the author found that works in this treatment modality.

Summary

The effectiveness of therapeutic group homes has been questioned as an effective form of treatment for at-risk youth. This presentation will examine the recidivism rates of at-risk youth who participated in an established North Carolina group home program. While least restrictive interventions are the primary mode of treatment for adolescents, therapeutic group homes still offer an alternative to training school and long stays in local detention centers for adolescents who may have failed in other therapeutic modalities. Over the past several years there has been a proliferation of level II and level III group homes in North Carolina. Many of these group homes were operating below standards, which prompted the North Carolina Governor to order a site review of every group home in the state. The North Carolina Department of Facility Services and Division of Mental Health suggest that at-risk adolescents can be better served in a least restrictive setting such as outpatient therapy or intensive in-home services. While a trend to use least restrictive therapy models is indicated in the literature, there is still a place for appropriate and effective residential programs. The agency from which the client sample was taken has been operating group homes for over 30 years and is nationally accredited by the Council on Accreditation. This agency also continually evaluates the programs to ensure effective programs for the at-risk youth it serves. This presentation will describe the general make-up of the at-risk youths served in the group homes, what type of therapeutic model is used in the group homes and the follow-up data that is collected and used to evaluate the group home programs. Recidivism rates (committing other crimes) for adolescents sent to training school are as high as 80% while adolescents who participate in one of the group home programs have a recidivism rate of only 35%. These recidivism rates will be reviewed in the presentation.

Evidence

The effectiveness of these residential services has been measured in three ways: services are evaluated by primary referral sources; follow-up data is obtained at various intervals after program participation to measure recidivism; and a more sensitive, "Offense Seriousness Score", has been computed and analyzed prior to, during and after treatment in the residential program (a sample of 63 participants was used in this part of the study). Also separate data on 740 clients who have participated in the agency group homes over the past several years is examined to determine what percentage got back into trouble with the Department of Juvenile Justice during one-year follow up periods.

Format

Poster Presentation

Biographical Sketch

Presenter is currently an Associate Professor at an R1 research university. He received his Ph.D. from North Carolina State University in Counselor Education. He holds licensure as a Licensed Professional Counselor and is a member of ACA. His areas of interest include identity development, at-risk youth, and clinical counseling. He has worked in a variety of settings over the past 20 years which include an inpatient hospital, outpatient counseling center and in private practice with his wife. He was also a director for a large agency that provided a continuum of care services for at-risk youth and their families.

Keyword Descriptors

at-risk youth, residential programs, counseling, mental health, group homes.

Presentation Year

2017

Start Date

3-7-2017 4:00 PM

End Date

3-7-2017 5:30 PM

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Mar 7th, 4:00 PM Mar 7th, 5:30 PM

Counseling Techniques for Working with at-Risk Youth in Residential and Outpatient Settings

Harborside East & West

The effectiveness of therapeutic group homes has been questioned as an effective form of treatment for at-risk youth. This presentation will examine the recidivism rates of at-risk youth who participated in an established residential group home program, and what the author found that works in this treatment modality.