Residential Care

This page has been moved to the Department of Children Youth and Families

Services for Juvenile Rehabilitation, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Child Care Subsidy Programs, including Working Connections Child Care, have moved to the Department of Children Youth and Families at www.dcyf.wa.gov. The information on this page is no longer considered current. Thank you.

The Integrated Treatment Model utilizes several different treatment programs in our secure facilities and community group homes which are described on this website.  The goal across these programs is to help youth assess their previous and current behaviors, and to encourage them to learn new skills that will help them return to their communities as safer community members more prepared to succeed than when they arrived.

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) is the primary treatment model utilized in all of our residential facilities.  DBT is a supportive, therapeutic and relational model that focuses on teaching clients new and effective behaviors to replace damaging behaviors that have negatively influenced the client’s life and their community. 

Upon entering a JR facility each youth is assigned a case manager who will contact the family of the youth, and will be working directly with the family on reentry back into the community throughout the duration of the youth’s time in residence. The counselor holds an individual counseling session with the youth each week, guiding the treatment process and programming for the youth. 

JR case managers understand that youth and their families are the most knowledgeable experts about their own experiences and needs.  Our counselors are most familiar with navigating our system and the treatment, educational, and vocational opportunities available to youth while in JR residential facilities.  Family members should contact the residential counselor with any questions about navigating the system, and for any information regarding their child’s progress.

Balance of Acceptance and Change - DBT balances accepting a person for who they are with working towards behavioral changes.  Validating a youth’s internal experiences (thoughts, feelings, and motivations) opens them up to change strategies and working towards personal goals. 

Mindfulness - In DBT, Mindfulness practice is incorporated to build the client’s self-awareness.  The practice put simply is to focus on breathing and observing oneself, and then to practice describing this experience without judgment. For our youth this leads to noticing the thoughts and feelings that precede ineffective behaviors, to help them practice new and more effective skills in those situations. 

Assessment - In DBT, the practitioner assesses and searches for the function of a behavior in a youth’s life, and then works to gain commitment from the youth to practice new behaviors that will be more effective for them and those around them.   

There are Five Functions of Treatment when working with youth and their families in residential care.

Engaging and Motivating Clients – It is critical that youth are committed to changing their own behavior in order for this work to be successful. Strategies to engage and motivate youth are incorporated into the treatment model as it is common for a client’s commitment to waiver during the treatment process. 

Skill Acquisition – Teaching youth new skills to utilize in their daily lives to replace the behaviors which have led them to trouble is a critical part of the ITM.  All youth attend DBT skills acquisition groups to learn a variety of behavioral skills in four modules.

  • Mindfulness
  • Emotion Regulation
  • Distress Tolerance
  • Interpersonal Effectiveness

Individual counselors will tailor some of these skills to each youth’s particular needs during their counseling sessions, based on assessment of what will be effective for that individual.

Skill Generalization – Generalization focuses on transferring skill usage to the environment and situations a youth will return to when they leave the JR continuum.  Practicing effective skills in a controlled environment such as our secure facilities or group homes can be an effective way to learn them. Generalization focuses on preparing a youth to use skills in all relevant contexts when returning to their community.

Structuring the Environment – There are different educational, cultural, and vocational opportunities at our various locations in addition to skills groups and other treatment programs.  All living units are maintained as a safe place for practicing and learning new skills with counseling staff, security staff, and other youth. 

Engaging and Motivating Practitioners – DBT understands that working with challenging clients can take a toll on therapists and their ability to remain positive in their work.  DBT therapists meet regularly in small groups to discuss challenges with their peers and to support each other in the important work they are doing with clients.