Family involvement is considered a vital part of the treatment process. In addition to family involvement in the treatment planning process, as clinically indicated, family therapy may be provided, family contact through telephone calls and letters is encouraged, and therapeutic visits and leaves are arranged.
The single most important factor to successful treatment for our residents is their family’s involvement, investment, and willingness to adapt to their needs. To practically address some of this, we have established some basic parameters and expectations for family involvement.
Family therapy typically is scheduled on a bi-weekly basis. Occasionally, based on need, families are asked to participate in family therapy on a more frequent basis. Participating family members are asked to come in person to the program site. The program therapist will make the initial contact with the family after admission to set up the first family therapy session. Families are expected to initiate contact with the therapist to schedule all subsequent family therapy sessions. Family therapy appointments are available during the day and evening hours during the week. Please be prompt for family therapy appointments and call ahead if an emergency prevents you from attending a scheduled session.
Phone Calls, Messages, and Letters
You may call your child on days you don’t visit. The best time to call, i.e., the times your child will most likely be available, are after 3:30pm and prior to 9pm each week day, and between 10am-9pm on the weekends. Your child may call out to you during free time a maximum of twice per shift. Phone calls must be limited to 10 minutes in order to manage program call volume. If a message for your child is left with program staff, they will immediately post the message on your child’s bedroom door. It will be up to your child to respond to the message. Regular letter writing is encouraged between you and your child. Your child may receive unlimited letters and packages from you. Your child may write and send letters at will. The program will pay for a limited number of outgoing letters per month.
On-Grounds Family Visits
Families may visit their child up to twice per week. Visits on a least a weekly/biweekly basis are encouraged. The duration for visits will be determined on an individual basis and the treatment team will take into any special needs the resident may have as well as the amount of time the parent is traveling. Program staff must check in all gifts and items brought for your child. All visits must be scheduled with the Case Counselor by at least 4:00pm of the Monday prior to the visit. The location of the visits is at the sole discretion of the program staff, though every attempt will be made to provide privacy and accommodate the family. If visitors arrive without prior approval, program staff will decline the visit as a safety and security measure. At the beginning and end of your visit, you will be asked to complete a Therapeutic Leave & Visit report to inform the team how the visit went and what goals were worked on during that visit.
As a safety and security measure, visitors may be asked to show proof of identity when visiting.
Off-Grounds Therapeutic Leaves (TLs)
Therapeutic leaves (TLs or home passes) are an important part of your child’s treatment. The first therapeutic leave will be arranged following the 2nd -3rd family session and one month of treatment in accordance to weekly/biweekly visits on grounds. The duration and frequency of therapeutic leaves will gradually increase (or decrease if needed) over time to encourage a pattern of successful family interactions. TLs usually start out as off grounds visits ranging no more than 3 hours at a time. The treatment team will extend the passes by a few hours at a time over the following passes, as the child is successful on the previous visits. TL’s will increase over time to overnight every other weekend passes and then to weekly overnight passes. As your child nears time of discharge, TLs are increased to longer passes. Special arrangements can be made for family events. The state supports a maximum of 48 TL days per calendar year while your child is in residential treatment. All TLs must be arranged with the Case Counselor no later than 4:00pm the Monday prior to the TL. Due to the necessity of coordinating medications with pharmacy and obtaining a physician’s order for off grounds visits and therapeutic leaves, only situations deemed to be emergencies will receive exception to the underlined expectation abve.
As a safety and security measure, visitors may be asked to show proof of identity prior to TLs.
Access to the Psychiatrist
Parents or guardians may have access to speak directly with their child’s psychiatrist when questions cannot be answered through the case counselor, program therapist, or registered nurse (RN). Parents may arrange phone conferences with the psychiatrist through the case counselor. Occasional meetings with the psychiatrist may be arranged through the case counselor.
You will be invited to a medication management treatment team meeting on a monthly basis that will include your child’s psychiatrist, nurse, therapist, and case counselor. We encourage you to be involved in these meetings and bring any concerns/feedback/questions that you may have for the psychiatrist. You may participate either by phone or in person.