2015 Finalist Spotlight: South Hadley Girls Treatment Program

Posted by Lisa Martinek
June 24, 2015

Performance-based Standards (PbS) is pleased to announce South Hadley Girls Treatment Program in South Hadley, MA as one of the finalists for the 2015 Barbara Allen-Hagen Award in the community category. The program was selected as a finalist for their improvement plan on incorporating positive youth development into all aspects of their programming.

The team at South Hadley carefully researched behavioral support systems—attending webinars and conferences and visiting other programs who had successfully transitioned from a point and level system—to find a behavioral support system that matched their ongoing efforts to offer services that are gender-specific, trauma-informed and based in positive youth development. Once they decided on a system, South Hadley made numerous changes including monthly trainings related to positive youth development and trauma and more opportunities for youths to voice their opinions and concerns such as weekly community support meetings and student advisory sessions. The changes have resulted in more youths reporting that the rules are fair, they understand the program rules, they understand the behavioral support system and staff show respect!

Melissa King, Administrator at South Hadley, noted that support for staff is essential to success. “We moved slowly and gave staff tools as we proceeded with the transition. Staff's ability to access support from the Administrative team is the key to the success of the new behavioral support system.”

The Barbara Allen-Hagen Award was established in 2007 to honor Barbara-Allen Hagen and her retirement from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP). Her dedication to improving the quality of life in facilities for young offenders has helped drive PbS to its current success. The award is given to a correction, detention/assessment and community program who best exemplify PbS’ commitment to treating all youths in custody as one of our own by developing and implementing strategic plans to change practices that results in positive outcomes for youths, staff and families.

Winners of the award will be announced the night of the ceremony on Aug. 14, 2015. Stay tuned for more blogs about the finalists.

Valentine's Day spread at South Hadley

Therapy Dog
An adorable therapy dog

Colorful and decorated wall at South Hadley