When we first started hearing about the future of group homes we began our preparation, so actually we have been working for 3 years on what is now a reality. First we worked to become COA certified, a national standard of excellence in group home care.
Next we began rewriting our program to make it therapeutic throughout. We asked for input from all our employees, and received good thoughts from them. We completed and submitted the new program statement before the holidays.
We have begun training our employees, and they are receptive to the new ideas. We are doing away with the level system we have used for almost 30 years. In its place we will set the rules with the children in our care, and when a rule is broken the child will have to solve the problem to proceed with the activities of the day. If a child chooses a time-away, that is fine, but the point is that they will learn to take responsibility for behaviors and solve the problem.
We will avoid blame, who started the problem, and work to solve problems. We are all looking forward to equipping children with tools for the future, and what it takes to create a satisfactory life for themselves.