Magazine article Addiction Professional

Gateway Rehabilitation Center's Youth Services Center: Center Township, Pa

Magazine article Addiction Professional

Gateway Rehabilitation Center's Youth Services Center: Center Township, Pa

Article excerpt

Operators of Gateway Rehabilitation Center's year-old residential center for youths have decided it's best to give young people their space--literally. The added capacity made possible with the new site on Gateway's campus has allowed for separation of the youth population from adult treatment clients, as well as more effective segregation of the genders.

It also has made for a smoother everyday experience in the clinical setting. "Our lounges are now different from our group space," says Nicole Kurash, clinical director of inpatient youth programs, whereas in the past the program had to use one room for multiple purposes. "We didn't have that before, so it was harder for the young people to transition [from one activity to another]."

Richard A. Foster, PhD, Gateway's executive vice president for treatment programs, says the idea for a new facility to help meet an emerging need for youth inpatient treatment had been a decade in the making at Gateway. After encountering some community resistance toward the idea of building off-site, Gateway received the local government's blessing to develop a new facility on its own campus.

Two programs operate out of the Youth Services Center: a 21-bed traditional program (28 days) for boys and girls, and a three-to-four month program for juvenile males who are court-ordered to receive intensive services. Males and females use separate stairwells to access the floors of the facility, but all patients are considered to be in the same treatment program. Most of the youths in the programs range in age from 15 to 17, although some are as young as 13 or as old as 19.

Kurash says staff members often observe that you'd never know there were youths residing at a site that she describes as maintaining an orderly atmosphere. "There is not a lot of chaos in the building," she says. "Many of these young people come from homes of chaos. We don't use an intercom system in the building--not a lot of noise is going on that would produce anxiety."

Yet at the same time, the center was designed with several security- and accountability-related considerations in mind. …

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