After reviewing their PbS data, White’s Residential and Family Services’ residential team knew they wanted to focus on the amount of youths who felt that staff showed respect for their next Facility Improvement Plan (FIP).
To learn more from the youths, the residential team created a survey to help identify the specific areas of opportunity within each cottage and program. The survey was composed of 20 qualitative and 5 quantitative questions focused on better understanding the youth’s experience. The information gathered was split into cottage and program specific responses to allow the team to further evaluate how to best proceed. From there, it was identified that the cottages that were struggling the most were missing some programmatic components that others had: specifically, they did not have a cottage council or a clear behavior reward system. The team saw it as imperative that they consistently implemented these items across campus.
To implement cottage council, the residential team turned to the youth who were leading cottage councils successfully in other cottages. These youth became the advocates and trainers for cottages that were starting to implement cottage councils. Consisting of an elected president, vice president and delegate of youths who are progressing and at a certain point in treatment, the cottage council teams not only work to address issues in the cottage but also advocate for the cottage.
Additionally, White’s team of program managers worked to identify a cottage reward system that would be consistent across campus and worked with youths to develop and implement the process. They introduced and rolled out the concept of cottage bucks that rewarded positive behaviors in the cottage milieu and each cottage was given the opportunity to determine how cottage bucks could be spent.
Through this strategic process, the residential team met and exceeded their FIP goals.
The PbS 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. 3, 2018. Stay tuned for more blogs about the 2018 finalists.