Service to Families

Family involvement is an integral part of the resident’s treatment program. The agency recognizes that residents are not independent persons and that it is essential to work with them in the context of a family plan. The integrity and dignity of persons manifested through family values and lifestyles are always respected. Involvement in other community services and/or support groups is encouraged whenever it might help maximize the strengths of family members. Family Meetings are scheduled bi-weekly for all families for at least 30 minutes each, unless contraindicated by court order or Family Service Plan. Additionally, youth enrolled in the Outpatient Services program are encouraged to participate in bi-weekly family therapy sessions with a Master’s level clinician. Family therapy typically focuses on identifying key roles in the family, supporting the family in developing healthier relationships and conflict resolution skills. Additionally, family therapy may focus on providing caregivers with additional tools for effectively managing youths’ behaviors, as well as how to advocate effectively for the youth in the school and community. 

Family meetings include, as appropriate, providing information regarding appropriate parenting skills, disciplinary interventions, family roles, and referrals to additional parenting resources, as necessary. Visitation is reviewed during family meetings and family therapy. Goals are developed for visits, as well as appropriate possible interventions to be utilized by the parents. Progress on meeting outlined goals for visits are reviewed at subsequent family therapy sessions or on the Monday following the visit by the therapist or case manager contacting the family.  

Understanding the importance of outreach to the families of the youth, the clinical department arranges for a visit to the family’s home at least quarterly. The purpose of these visits is to ensure that the home is safe for visitation and to assess, with the family, any needs or barriers remaining in the way of reunification. The case manager and/or therapist completing the outreach develops strategies, in conjunction with the family, for overcoming those barriers. Examples include supporting the family in identifying resources in the community that provide assistance, be it financial, housing, furniture, health care, etc. Case Managers are responsible to follow-up with other agency personnel regarding the families’ participation and progress in those services.

Visitation with family members is encouraged and considered an integral component of their treatment. Visits between residents and family members, including, but limited to: parents, siblings, extended relatives, other significant individuals, are arranged in accordance with the Family Service Plan (FSP) and Individual Service Plans (ISP). Typically, visits begin on-grounds, bi-weekly and increase to weekly, home visits. However, each resident’s situation is different and planning must reflect safety and permanency planning.  

On-grounds visits may occur Monday through Friday 8am-8pm, and Saturdays from 1pm-4pm.  

The Villa is located approximately ten (10) miles outside of Philadelphia city limits. The Villa ensures that transportation arrangements are made, which may include door-to-door transportation, teaching a youth to utilize public transportation responsibly or for long-distance visits, commercial busing or rail lines. The Villa works closely with contracting agencies and the families to ensure that visitation occurs in accordance with court orders and Family Service Plans.  

In order to ensure a successful transition for any youth returning to his/her home or transitioning to an independent living situation, the clinical department arranges discharge meetings with the entire MDT, including parents/guardians and the contracting agency at least 30 days prior to a planned discharge. At this time, a plan is developed for ensuring the youth and family are enrolled in appropriate mental/behavioral health services (i.e. medication management, individual and/or family therapy, etc.), have medical care providers arranged and that the youth is enrolled in an appropriate academic program.