The Deaconess Home has several sites that are specifically designed to meet the specific needs of each young woman and her family. There are also services that are provided and have been designed to expand these services into the family's home and community. The Deaconess Home understands the importance of family involvement for the success of each young woman; therefore, the program identifies and works with families prior to intake, throughout placement, and after discharge.
This component of the program provides a consistent and structured environment for the girls. This structure provides a predictability that allows each girl to become familiar and acclimated to her surroundings. This familiarity allows them to feel safe and begin to work on the issues and behaviors that have brought them to the Deaconess Home. The young women attend school on grounds and work to get on grade level and maintain appropriate behaviors within a classroom setting. The girls also attend individual, family and group counseling at the program. The program works with the young women and their families to re-establish relationships that may have been severed due to the child's acting out or family dynamics. The program also offers step-down opportunities for the girls in order to prepare them for their transistion back into the community. The Group Home setting allows for the girls to receive less direct staff supervision while increasing time spent within the community. The girls are able to take on added household responsibilities, volunteer in the community and are able to participate in supervised and unsupervised activities within the community. Many of the girls begin this component of the program by attending school on grounds. The programs curriculum complements that of the public schools, thereby ensuring a successful transition to a less restrictive educational setting. The girls may begin attending public school by taking one class and then increasing their time in public school. The program provides support to the girls because returning to a public school may be overwhelming for some of the young women. The girls also learn to interact and resolve issues with staff, house mates, issues within the community or family with little staff intervention. Staff provides the girls with guidance but encourages each girl to establish skills to resolve their conflicts without resorting to past behaviors. The goal of group home care at the Deaconess Home is to continue to allow each girl to grow as an individual as she expands her time in the community. The Independent Living component of the program offers each girl the opportunity to expand on the skills they have been learning in the program and the community. The program provides girls who may not be returning to live with family members or other resources an opportuntiy to begin to learn what responsibilities are part of living independently. Girls have the opportunity to obtain employment, continue their education and complete household responsibilities while continuing to live within the program. They are also able to set their own schedules that include healthy and appropriate community activities.
Specialized Group Home/Family Reunification
The young women in this component of the program attend school within their own community. The program provides extensive family work and community based services to assist in the transition from group home care to reunification. The goal is to allow the girl to continue to receive services such as individual and family counseling within their community. This will allow for a smooth and quicker transition back into the home. Placement may be short term to several months depending on the needs of each child and family. There is 24 hour support available to the family while the child is home on visits. Tracking services are also provided while the child is in the community for school, work, socializing and home visits.
Behavioral Treatment Residence (BTR)
This program provides girls with a structured group home setting while allowing them to attend public school in the community on a full time basis. The program continues to work with families and other resources that are available to the girls. The goal of the program is to provide a setting that will allow the girls to work on issues that have brought them into placement and help them find alternative coping skills. These goals are met through individual, group and family counseling. Medical and Pychiatric services are also provided as part of the program. The program also provides daily routines and activities that teach the girls how to manage their behaviors, appropriate coping skills, healthy and age appropriate activities that will transcend into the community and their homes. The focus of treatment is also to help the girls and their families to work together towards reunification and return the girls into the community on a full-time basis. The program will also help identify other resources that may be beneficial to the young woman's progress and will assist to make connections within the community if family members are not available.
Family & Community Support & Stabilization
This model, which is staffed with a Community Resources and Family Support Coordinator, and Support & Stabilization staff, offers a unique combination of traditional and intensive tracking services and a respite component. Clients and families referred to this program are fully involved in developing a treatment plan to develop skills to maintain the child in the home and to establish tracking routines which build on existing positive family patterns, and community and school connections.
As part of the plan, the young women are connected to community activities such as the Boys and Girls Club, which assist the adolescent to find and join positive community activities, and help her to find a job. The girls are involved in groups which focus on the concerns for the adolescents, notably substance abuse, vocational skills, and how to deal with issues in the home and the community. Groups are facilitated by the Community Resources and Family Support Coordinator, and provide both adult guidance and peer feedback. Family & Community Support & Stabilization is provided 7 days a week and 24 hours a day. We provide support and stabilization at home, in school, community, volunteer and paid work positions, social events, health care and counseling appointments. Schedules and check-in routines are developed to respect and reinforce positive family connections. Planned and unscheduled meetings and interventions are conducted in the home; in-home parenting aide support and coaching by phone is available. Parent aide may include assistance with financial planning, applications for housing and food assistance, and other needs that impact the stability of the family. In certain, agreed-upon circumstances, the family and the adolescent may be offered day and/or overnight respite, with an understanding that immediate return to the home is the plan.
Each program provides unique opportunities and meets specific needs of young women and her family. Referrals may be made to any one of the programs offered at the
Fall River Deaconess Home. Please feel free to call Hilda Moniz at 508-674-4847 with any questions or send referrals directly to:
Hilda Moniz, MSW
Director of Admissions and Quality Assurance
Fall River Deaconess Home
P.O. Box 2118
Fall River, MA 02722