Upon arrival at Foothills Academy therapeutic services begin during each new resident’s intake. At that time the resident will be assigned a primary counselor who meets the resident, reviews program expectations/guidelines, and begins gathering background information. Combined with information from other professionals involved in the child’s life, their counselor completes a comprehensive psychosocial assessment. If needed, the resident is also referred to a psychiatric nurse practitioner for a psychiatric evaluation.
Within the first 2-3 week of a resident being placed at Foothills Academy, an Individual Treatment Plan (ITP) is created which reflects the resident’s treatment goals while in placement. The resident, the resident’s guardian, DCBS/DJJ worker, and various Foothills Academy Staff (Counselor, Treatment Director and/or Program Director, Teacher and Line Staff) are all usually involved in developing the treatment plan. Other professionals are invited as deemed necessary.
Multi-disciplinary Treatment Team
Each week a treatment team meeting is held in which the ITP is reviewed by a multi-disciplinary team. This team consists of a variety of Foothills staff including the primary counselor, the treatment and/or program director, line staff and others as may be needed. The purpose of these meetings is to provide feedback to see how the resident is progressing. In the meeting the measure toward the progress goal is evaluated so we can work with the resident to re-evaluate goals if needed and to aid in the ongoing assessment and treatment of the resident. Progress is viewed in terms of academics, behavior and therapy.
Individual therapy sessions are conducted by the primary counselor at least once a week. Additional therapy sessions may be added depending on the needs of the resident. The counselors at Foothills Academy use a variety of therapeutic approaches/techniques, including but not limited to; Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Reality Therapy and Client-Centered Therapy.
Psychiatric Medication Management
A board certified psychiatric nurse practitioner is at Foothills Academy on a weekly basis to offer mental health consultation, perform psychiatric evaluations, and provide psychiatric medication management. Counselors meet with the nurse practitioner each week to ensure that there is a clear line of communication regarding each resident’s symptoms.
Residents at Foothills Academy are required to have at least one hour of structured recreation each day. In addition, there is also time in the weekly schedule for the girls to participate in recreational activities of their own choosing. Some of the activities offered are: basketball, volleyball, softball, walking, crafts, and various art projects. In the future, we plan to offer a ropes course and an on-site fitness center. These experiences help build a positive self-image and teach students how to fill their free time in positive ways.
The staff at Foothills Academy believe that giving back to the community helps create a sense of responsibility, empathy, and maturity. It provides residents with an opportunity to help others and feel like a valued member of society. The goal is that, by incorporating service projects into the program, the overall treatment is expanded, and the residents receive secondary benefits. Some of the service projects we are planning for the future are: volunteering at the local animal shelter, visiting residents at the local nursing home, donating hand-made objects to charities, and helping with food service projects (i.e. “Meals on Wheels”) in the community.