2015 Finalist Spotlight: White’s Residential and Family Services

Posted by Lisa Martinek
July 15, 2015

Performance-based Standards (PbS) is pleased to announce White’s Residential and Family Services in Wabash, IN 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 decreasing injuries to youths as well as the number of youths and staff who fear for their safety.

The behavioral interventions, treatment modalities, and staffing patterns that had previously allowed White’s to succeed in safety were no longer working. The team chose to address injuries and fear for safety since treatment is hindered in an environment of fear, real or perceived. The team at White’s made changes to the orientation process and increased the staff-youth ratio. The big change, however, was the creation of Campus Life Specialists to work with youths in crisis since the program was seeing a rise in youths with mental health diagnoses. As a result, there have been no injuries to youths by other youths and reductions in youth and staff fearing for their safety!

When asked what the key to success was, Josh Bowyer, Campus Life Director, explained that meeting the needs of the population and quantifying data is essential. “The key to our success has been the addition of staff to meet the needs of our population…we continue to work with youth with more acute psychological needs and more criminogenic behaviors. Prior to [PbS] it was difficult to quantify the impact of difficult youth on our houseparent staff.”

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.

White's Residential and Family Services

Youth in the garden area

Outdoor games
Youths participating in outdoor games