Special Services

The Special Services Program is designed to meet the needs of boys experiencing severe emotional, behavioral, social, and/or family problems, requiring institutional placement. The Special Services Program provides a highly structured, closely‑supervised, therapeutic environment designed to work intensely with residents, helping them to deal with their traumatic experiences, interpersonal relationship problems, behavioral and emotional difficulties, while helping them to develop more socially‑appropriate behaviors. It has been recognized that children in this category have varying placement needs but typically require medium to long term placement. Despite the critical needs and problems that a youngster may present with, it is felt that growth and change can be effected subsequent to stabilization. Facilitating a sense of personal responsibility and accountability through the development of staff-client relationships within the structured environment is the long term goal of treatment with youngsters in the Special Services Program.

ELIGIBILITY AND INTAKE PROCEDURES:

The Baker Victory Services Special Services Program will consider placement of boys between the ages of 12 and 17, who are demonstrating behaviors requiring a critical care level institutional program. Youths who are experiencing acute psychiatric conditions, e.g., active psychosis, are not eligible for Special Services admission.

The procedure for referral requires the referring worker to forward all relevant data, i.e., social history, school reports, medical reports, psychiatric, and psychological reports, and any other reports to the OCFS Residential Intake Coordinator. The material is then evaluated based on the above mentioned criteria and a pre‑placement interview is conducted. Final determination regarding placement is contingent on the ability to program for a specific youngster, the availability of bed space, and the willingness on the part of the county (or school district) to assume financial responsibility for the youth's care.

The Special Services Program is limited in that it cannot accept children who are actively psychotic, or who have multiple physical handicaps, or who demonstrate intellectual deficiencies in the moderate to severe range, or youngsters who are acutely suicidal or homicidal.

STRUCTURE:

The Special Services facility is located in a suburban setting. The program itself encompasses Michael Cottage which is a ranch‑style design. The facility is readily accessible by public transportation. The total capacity of the Special Services Program is ten (10) clients.

RESIDENTIAL STAFFING:

The Special Services Unit is staffed to provide security and the best possible treatment potential. The Cottage Director (Masters Level Degree) provides individual, group, and family therapy, to the clients in this Unit. A Milieu Supervisor is responsible for the training, scheduling and supervision of the Mental Health Specialists (direct care staff). Mental Health Specialists provide coverage & supervision during the waking non-school hours. This coverage is scheduled in such a way as to afford a ratio of one (1) staff member for every two (2) children. Staffing ratios are for scheduling purposes. Staff assignments throughout the day are determined by client programming and needs.

The Special Services team is clinically supported by a Department Head, with consultations from the psychiatrist, psychologist, and medical staff. A recreation worker is assigned to this unit to assist with developing and implementing recreation plans. Therapy Aides provide awake overnight supervision of the residents. A Night Supervisor provides directly supervises the Therapy Aides. The Campus Milieu Department Head oversees the night operations and provides supervision for the Milieu Supervisor.

SERVICES:

Each client in the Special Services Program has access to a variety of services. A comprehensive individual treatment plan is developed within the first thirty days of placement for each client and his family based on their needs, motivation and situations. The Treatment Plan is reviewed on a regular basis, thereafter. The program's goal is to facilitate the youngster's successful return to a less restrictive environment, as soon as possible.

Clinical Services: Family, individual, and group counseling are considered integral to the treatment plan. Each resident in the program is the responsibility of the Cottage Director who provides mental health screening and individual counseling for the client. Most clients are seen in counseling on a weekly basis and at a minimum every two (2) weeks. Family contacts and sessions are arranged by the Cottage Director. Group sessions may also be scheduled, in the cottage, by the Director, dependent upon the needs and compatibility of the clients. Vocational guidance is also provided by the therapist, in conjunction with the school.

Psychiatric / Psychological Services: Psychiatric evaluations for youths who have a recent history of psychotropic medications prior to admission generally occur within one week of the admission date. For all other youth, clinical psychology and or psychiatric services are accessed when appropriate based on the Cottage Director's assessment of mental health needs. School psychology services are provided as needed via educational programming at Baker Hall School.

Activities of Daily Living: An Activities of Daily Living Plan (A.D.L.) is developed for each resident, according to his individual needs, within 30 days of placement. The purpose of this service is to implement activities which will enhance each person's skills and motivation toward their independent self‑care. These activities focus on hygiene, daily structure and routines, job skills and budgeting, etc., as outlined in the A.D.L curriculum. These plans are re‑evaluated simultaneously with the clients' service plan.

Medical Services are provided through Baker Victory Services' Nursing Department, a consulting licensed pediatrician and Mercy Hospital. Annual physical examinations are conducted. Other medical services, including dental and optometry are provided as needed.

Recreational ‑ Social Activities: Social, recreational and cultural activities are an important component of the treatment program. A multifaceted recreational program is available to all clients in this program. As appropriate, boys are encouraged to participate in activities and programs in the community.

Educational Services: Students in the Special Services Program who do not have existing IEP's are evaluated by the Committee on Special Education. The Committee on Special Education evaluates each client to determine the appropriate classroom and educational program in consultation with respective educational support staff, administrative staff and Parents / guardians.

Specialized program available to residents include:

Remedial Education: Geared to provide individualized remedial instruction to students.

Tutorial and Summer School Program: Available to all students enrolled in the Baker Victory Services School.

Work Study Programs: Available to non‑academically oriented students in the Baker Victory Services School. This combines fundamental academic learning and training toward eventual productive employment and adequate job skills.

Vocational Training Programs: Placement in community based training programs coordinated through the Baker Victory Services School Program.

High School Equivalency: Tutoring is provided to those clients who are motivated toward obtaining a high school equivalency diploma.

Community Social Services: Staff members act as resource people for the youngster to assure that proper and complete use of community resources is made when applicable. In many situations, there is collaboration between Baker Victory Services and other agencies in the community, in the interest of our clients. Many cases involve advocacy or our representing the client in his behalf.