The Group Home Program was established in 1972 and provides a home-like environment for youth who may have initially been placed in the system due to abuse or neglect. Because of challenging behaviors these youth require a structured and therapeutically based setting. Our primary goal is to provide the therapeutic milieu and mental health services to assist these youth in learning how to develop relationships, appropriate ways to manage and express feelings and to function adaptively within a family setting.
Five Acres' group home is designed to offer a positive small group living environment for them as they prepare for transition to a lower level of care such as with a foster family or reunification with their own family. Whenever possible effort is made to keep siblings together. Although we provide our youth with a home-like environment and may become like a second family, we believe that they should reconnect, develop, maintain and foster positive relationships with permanent persons outside of Five Acres in order to create a lifetime support system. A permanent person may be any adult other than staff whom the youth identifies as being significant to them. This may include family members, a teacher, coach, tutor or special friend. Thus, our second goal is to reconnect the youth to past significant relationships, to assist them in developing new positive relationships and to support the networks to maintain these important relationships in the youths' lives so that they will have a stable source of support, especially when they are ready to move on to a lower level of care after our program. If it for any reason it is not possible to transition a youth to a lower level, the group home program also prepares youth for emancipation at age 18 or when secondary schooling is completed. Five Acres youth may be assisted to help them transition successfully from high school to college or vocational training and full independence.
Each of the youth’s experiences is considered as a possible framework for socialization and is designed to meet the needs of the youth both as individuals and as a group. The plan is to meet developmental needs and to provide a predictable, secure living situation with reasonable order and structure. Our services provide each youth with an opportunity to develop skills for coping, networking, problem solving, independent living, social competence and emancipation.
Director for Permanency Programs