St. Mary's proudly leads the way transforming residential
treatment in Rhode Island through our commitment and implementation
of the national Building Bridges Initiative.
Old Way of Thinking
Our Way of Thinking
|Children and youth live in residential for long
periods of time.
Our residential treatment is an intervention,
not a destination. It is short-term, and services are provided
in the community and on campus.
|Services focus on the child, not
||We provide services to the whole family, including
a Parent Support Partner dedicated to supporting the parent during
the difficult time their child is not at home 24/7.
|Professionals are the decision makers.
||Our youth and parents sit at the table with
us and other team members to make decisions. The court or proper
authorities do make legal decisions, but we never make a decision
without including the youth and their family each step of the
|Changes take place for the child/youth.
||Changes takes place for the family.
|Kids in care just have to follow
||Our youth help establish the rules. They are
empowered and run a Youth Council. Some participate in the interview
process for potential residential employees. The Youth Council
participates in setting agency policy, and training staff. Our
children and youth don’t like being called kids, and their voices
|Visits are "earned" or
"allowed" or "privilege".
||Parents and their children should be together
as often as possible. We provide support and coaching to both
through difficult times, not keep them separated. We meet parents
to participate in activities in the community, provide bus vouchers
so they can come to campus, have regular family nights on campus
and encourage sleep-overs at home whenever possible.
|We know better.
||Parents and youth know best. We work with families
where they are, and build on their strengths to help them create
safe environments so their children return home.
|Older teens will enter independent
living after residential.
||We actively seek relatives, natural supports
or community members to become life-long support for older teens
who may live independently, or who may live with the connection
made in our program.
|Services end at discharge.
||Families choose up to three services that we
provide in our Aftercare Program, for up to six months after discharge
from the campus residential intervention.
|Services are eventually transferred
to another agency.
||Even after the 6 month Aftercare Program, our
clients can remain involved with St. Mary’s through our home based
or office based programs. We offer services from weekly therapy
and case management support to intensive home based programs.
As you see, our residential program is not traditional
and is different from past experiences. We rely on the expertise of
family and/or natural supports, and provide services in the home,
community and on campus from initial contact through discharge. We
provide an Aftercare Program, with up to six months of services –
which the family chooses - in the home or a foster home. All residents
and families work with their Milieu Staff, Clinician, Nurses, Teachers
and Teacher Assistants, Psychiatrist and other teams members who are
available right here on campus for support, including 24/7 On Call
availability to parents. Additionally, at St. Mary’s residential intervention,
everyone receives additional services from a Family Liaison, and Parent
Support Partner (through our partnership with the Parent Support Network
[PSN] a non-profit organization of individuals who have personal
experience with children with behavioral health challenges).
Please contact us for more detailed information
about our program and how we are practicing the Building Bridges Initiative.
For more information about the national Building Bridges Initiative
itself, see http://www.buildingbridges4youth.org.