Multiple Diagnosis Program

The Multiple Diagnosis Program (MDP) is designed to meet the needs of eight boys between the ages of 12 and 18, with deficits in cognitive and/or adaptive functioning, along with severe emotional, behavioral, social, developmental, and/or family problems, requiring placement outside of their own homes. The Multiple Diagnosis Program is licensed through the Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) and provides a highly structured, closely‑supervised, therapeutic environment. The care and treatment of youths in the MDP is behaviorally focused and individualized to address their unique needs and particular developmental concerns. It is anticipated that youths in this category are in need of medium to long term placement.


The Baker Victory Services Multiple Diagnosis Program will consider placement of boys between the ages of 12 and 17 years of age with an IQ between 50 and 80 with variable adaptive functioning, attention deficit and/or disruptive behavior disorders.

The procedure for referral requires the referring worker to forward current educational information together with psychiatric and psychological assessments completed within the past two years. A current social history, medical history, and a summary clarifying client circumstances (family, medical, educational, social/behavioral) over the last six months is also required. Referral documents are then evaluated based on the above criteria and if determined to eligible for MDP a pre‑placement interview is also required. Final determination regarding placement is contingent on the ability to program for this specific youngster, the availability of bed space, and the willingness on the part of the county to assume financial responsibility.

The Multiple Diagnosis Program is limited in that it cannot accept children who are psychotic, who have multiple physical handicaps or youth who are a serious risk to themselves or others.


The Multiple Diagnosis facility is located in a ranch style unit in a suburban setting. The facility is readily accessible by public transportation. The total capacity of the Multiple Diagnosis Program is eight (8) clients.

The unit, known as McPherson Cottage, is divided into two (2) separate living units; with four (4) residents in each of the two (2) units. This allows for small group work and more individualized interactions on an on‑going basis with the Mental Health Specialist staff, who work directly with the clients.

The cottage has its own community room where residents have access to recreational activities, such as pool and ping‑pong, computers and video games.


The Multiple Diagnosis unit is staffed in such a way so as to afford the most security and the best possible treatment potential. The Cottage Director (Masters Level Degree) provides individual, group, and family therapy for the residents. A Milieu Supervisor is responsible for the training and supervision of the front-line staff. Front-line staff, known as Mental Health Specialists, provides 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) residents. Staffing ratios are for scheduling purposes only. How staff are assigned throughout the day will be determined by client need and the activities of the day.

The Multiple Diagnosis team is clinically supported by a Department Head, with consultations from the psychiatrist, psychologist, and medical staff. A Behavior Specialist, Case Manager / Transition Coordinator and a Recreation Therapist are also assigned to this unit, to assist with Treatment plan development and implementation. There is a Night Supervisor, and a Director of Night Operations, who directly supervise the Therapy Aides, who provide direct overnight supervision of the residents.


Each client in the Multiple Diagnosis 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 situation. This Treatment Plan is then reviewed on a regular basis. The program's aim 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 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 counselor; and group sessions are also scheduled in the cottage by the Director dependent upon the needs and compatibility of the clients in each setting. Vocational guidance is also provided by the therapist in conjunction with the school and the Baker Victory Services WAY (Work Appreciation For Youth) Program.

Recreational ‑ Social Activities: Social, recreational and cultural activities are an on‑going concern with our clients. 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.

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

Psychiatric/Psychological Services: Psychiatric evaluations are conducted within three days of admission. Psychological evaluations are utilized when needed.

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

Educational Services: Students in the Multiple Diagnosis Program are evaluated by the Committee on Special Education. Based upon this review and assessment, many of the children in the Multiple Diagnosis Program attend an on-campus classroom site that is an extension of the Baker Hall School Program. Students in this classroom setting receive educational programming in a self-contained classroom, with a low student/teacher/teacher aide ratio. Children who do not require this level of educational support may attend school at the Baker Hall Main School, located on Ridge Road in Lackawanna. The Committee on Special Education evaluates each client for placement in an appropriate educational program in consultation with respective educational support and administrative staff.

Specialized programs 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 Education 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 will 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.