If you visit the Hoyleton Campus in Hoyleton, Illinois on a weekday around 8:30am, it might look like the streets in most neighborhoods. Youth scurrying around, making their way to school just-in-time for the opening bell. The campus is where almost 40 boys and girls live 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Each has their own unique story, but all have been referred by the State.
This year, the Residential Care program at the Hoyleton campus was granted Tier One status from Illinois’ Department of Children and Family Services. It’s a classification that only a few similar programs in Illinois receive. The status is based on key performance scores that measure the program’s ability to successfully retain youth in treatment, present opportunities and enable youth to grow in core-life areas.
“The Tier One classification shows we’re looking at outcomes, and the State is measuring our performance on ways we’re treating youth. It indicates the viability of our program. Data measures our work which shows we perform at a higher level. And that makes Hoyleton a preferred provider to the State”, says Brice Bloom-Ellis, Chief Program Officer at Hoyleton.
Hoyleton’s Residential Care staff, including counselors, administrators and educators, work together to ensure each young resident has the tools and structured experiences, like school, to move from their challenging past into a new, productive future.
A significant factor to the programs’ success is the staff’s willingness to improve at every step. Just last year, the program adopted an evidenced-based practice model developed from mental and behavioral health experts at Cornell University. The practice model is called CARE – Hoyleton is just one of only 50 agencies in the United States chosen by Cornell to implement the model.
Residential Care Director, Monte Mister, explains, “Over the years, we’ve tried to take a real-life approach to youth, but they’re not really in normal life situations. The CARE model provides our staff with a practice framework that has a common language, so we can better address our youth’s situations as they are.”
Over the next year, more Hoyleton staff will become CARE trainers, and the practice will be fully implemented in that timeframe. The new practice will help secure Hoyleton’s Tier One status for years to come, which will give youth the quality, personalized care they need and deserve.
“Our kids have problems but they need “normal” experiences; in many ways they’re no different than other kids – they have the same wants, needs and desires everyone else has”, says Mister. “We’ll continue to work hard each day so they know they’re people worthy of our love and support.”
To learn more about Hoyleton’s Residential Care program, visit: http://forwardbyhoyleton.org/residential-services/