Whenever possible, the entire family is counseled weekly during a boy’s stay at St. Mary’s. Case Managers use a variety of techniques including family process, the psycho-educational model, individual strategies, and skill building therapies.
The Family Program
More than most forms of counseling, this program follows a step-by-step sequence for building skills and transferring responsibility for change and maintenance of change from the Case Manager to the family. Family counseling adjusts the family’s expectations and reduces their distortions. The family learns to view problems in terms of behaviors to be encouraged or discouraged. Parents learn specific procedures for shaping behavior in more desirable directions. The family learns to recognize and expect appropriate behavior from their children.
Case Managers teach families to:
- provide structure and monitor their children
- provide feedback to their children
- use behavior management techniques
- increase their ability to resolve interpersonal conflicts with win-win solutions
In family counseling, parents receive encouragement and support to change their own lives. They begin to realize they must change their own delinquent behavior and become good role models for their children. As the parents’ effectiveness increases, their self-esteem increases. The child’s self-esteem also improves when he finds himself getting along better at home.
The Case Managers
Our Case Managers are master level professionals. They are experienced in dealing with family, marital, and parental issues. They are qualified to facilitate resolution around sexual abuse, child abuse, and drug/alcohol abuse.
Home visits are an opportunity for boys and their families to practice newly acquired skills. Visits are contingent upon the family assessment and occur after a boy’s individual treatment plan has been designed. During each visit, parents must complete the forms in a “relapse prevention packet.” If problems occur during the visit, parents can call St. Mary’s for help and support.
Throughout a boy’s stay, the referring agency and St. Mary’s assess his family to determine their appropriateness as the aftercare resource.