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Sending a consistent message to help children

Harvard case study examines Youth Villages

Family Victories from Youth Villages, North Carolina

Katie’s journey ALSO INSIDE:

Meet one of the Youth Villages staff New Day Program: Sicoia won’t be a statistic

How effective is Youth Villages?

Spring 2010

A Message From Our Director Welcome to Youth Villages’ first North Carolina newsletter Youth Villages is pleased to offer our first newsletter for friends and families in North Carolina. Since 2005, Youth Villages has partnered with local governments, community agencies, schools, mental health professionals and others to serve troubled children and their families. We are excited about the partnerships we have built in communities across the state and the positive outcomes we continue to see. This newsletter allows us to periodically share what Youth Villages is doing, as well as stories of the young people with whom we work. During the past five years, we have experienced tremendous growth, serving more than 1,600 youth through the mental health and juvenile justice systems. We opened nine regional offices across the state and employ more than 130 dedicated and caring professionals to fulfill our mission. Plans are also under way to deliver Youth Villages’ programs and services to the Fayetteville area. Financial support from The Duke Endowment has helped us expand our Multisystemic Therapy program into underserved areas of the state, and funding from The Day Foundation has enabled us to establish the New Day program, which promotes independent living skills for youth aging out of foster care, in three regions of our state. North Carolina continues to be at the forefront of sweeping changes in mental health reform, which presents challenges but also provides a path toward more efficient and effective care delivery. Accountability, cost-effective care and high-quality treatment are priorities in the state’s complex network of care support, and Youth Villages is providing needed care across the state that meets the highest of these standards. We are proud of our efforts so far, but there is still so much work to do. For information on Youth Villages in North Carolina and our services, please contact your local office. Numbers and addresses are provided on this page. Annie Smith State Director 910-673-8501 2

North Carolina offices Asheville 
 38 Rosscraggon Road,
Suite 38C
 Asheville, NC 28803
 phone: 828-654-7700
 fax: 828-654-7701

 2815 Coliseum Centre Dr.,
Suite 230
 Charlotte, NC 28217
 phone: 704-357-7920
 fax: 704-357-7921 Concord 
 845 Church St. North,
Suite 305
 Concord, NC 28025
 phone: 704-262-1320
 fax: 704-262-1322 Raleigh-Durham 
 100 Capitola Dr.,
Suite 310
 Durham, NC 27713
 phone: 919-474-6400
 fax: 919-474-6401 Greensboro 
 7900 Triad Center,
Suite 350
 Greensboro, NC 27409
 phone: 336-931-1800
 fax: 336-931-1801 Greenville 
 2428 Charles Blvd. Greenville, NC 27858 phone: 252-215-5700 fax: 252-215-5701 Hickory 
 101 Government Avenue SW
 Hickory, NC 28602
 phone: 828-315-7700
 fax: 828-315-7701 Pinehurst 
 5228 North Carolina Highway 211
 P.O. Box 1138
 West End, NC 27376
 phone: 910-673-8520
 fax: 910-673-8521 Wilmington 
 5041 New Centre Drive, Suite 209
 Wilmington, NC 28403
 phone: 910-392-8990
 fax: 910-392-8991

Meet the YV Family

Program Success As a national leader in the field of behavioral health, Youth Villages has measured outcomes of children and families participating in its programs since 1994.

Youth Villages has served 1,608 children in North Carolina as of December 2009. On average, two-thirds stay in the Multisystemic Therapy Program for 90-180 days. Based on 563 completed surveys, 79 percent reported success at a six-month follow-up. Success is defined as living at home or in a home-like environment. At 12 months, 338 families reported an 83 percent success rate.

John Horton Manager, Resource Development John Horton recently joined Youth Villages North Carolina in the development office. He is a graduate of Queens University of Charlotte and previously worked with the philanthropic arm of Carolinas HealthCare System. Why did you decide to work at Youth Villages? — Youth Villages was just a natural fit for me. In my previous job, what I enjoyed most was working with the children and families at the children’s hospital. What is appealing about doing this work in North Carolina? — Because Youth Villages’ services in North Carolina are rapidly growing, there is an opportunity for support throughout the state. People want to support causes that make a difference in their community, and Youth Villages has been doing that for several years.

MST, New Day: Helping ensure bright futures in North Carolina Multisystemic Therapy is an innovative treatment approach that provides help to children and families in their own homes and communities. It is one of only a few treatment approaches that has been proven to be effective with troubled young people in randomized, long-term clinical trials. MST is demonstrated to be successful in helping youth ages 12 to 17 who display serious antisocial behaviors and are at risk of placement out of the home because of their behaviors. Built on the principle and scientific evidence that a seriously troubled child’s

What do you like best about your job? — I like being able to truly make a difference. Youth Villages and those individuals and organizations who choose to support us have one thing in common — we all care about helping children in need. What’s something most people don’t know about you? — In college I had both royal blue and bleached blond hair and even sported a mohawk — all in the name of team unity.

You can help. For information on giving or volunteering opportunities, call John Horton in Charlotte at 704-3577942 or e-mail

behavioral problems are multidimensional, MST addresses

continued on page 7 3

In North Carolina, Texas, Washington, D.C., and Dothan, Ala., Youth Villages provides Multisystemic Therapy, which has been demonstrated to be successful in helping youth ages 12 to 17 who display serious antisocial behaviors and are at risk of placement out of the home due to their behaviors.

Family all aboard with Katie Katie’s a much nicer person to be around now. She’s on track to finish high school and realize her goal of service by enlisting in the Navy. The path to achieve her dreams wasn’t always so clear. This Greensboro-area 16-year-old had outbursts of anger toward her family. Her personal life suffered. She began abusing drugs and alcohol. Katie’s mother had been involved in several abusive relationships, and Katie was also physically abused. She began regularly using substances and harming herself to

Kehoe, Youth Villages family coun-

and the effects it had. Through

cope with her feelings of anger and

selor. “We set limits and devel-

structured communication exer-


oped a behavior contract, utilizing

cises, we were able to change that

rewards and consequences.”

dynamic in the home.”

She didn’t react well when she heard a Youth Villages counselor

Katie’s mom increased her communication with Katie’s teachers

ing Katie out of class to discuss

at school and was able to address

her behavior and what prompted

at my mom because she didn’t

Katie’s poor school performance

it instead of dismissing her with

tell me the counselor was coming

and defiance toward teachers.

in-school suspension. She learned

ahead of time. I went to my room

More importantly, Kehoe ad-

that her choices have conse-

and refused to talk to her.”

dressed the family’s interactions

quences and, by examining them,

with one another.

was able to improve her decision-

was coming to visit. “I was mad,” Katie said. “I yelled

But things got better. “Early on, we established safety

“We identified how they were

making skills.

plans and ways to create more

pushing each other’s buttons,”

And Katie began to change.

structure in the home,” said Sierra

Kehoe said. “We examined their

“It worked for us,” Katie said.

communication with one another 4

At school, teachers began tak-

continued on next page

Youth Villages’ western region offices recently held their annual rally at Lake Norman State Park, where staff celebrated openings of the Asheville and Charlotte offices.

Youth Villages North Carolina staff highlights In Wilmington, Youth Villages counselors found out a young pregnant girl’s family had no means to purchase maternity clothes. The family and Heart Foxworth from the Youth Villages Wilmington office contacted the Salvation Army and other community resources.

tire,” Foxworth said. “It was a great example of how many people in the community are more than willing to meet the needs of our families. All we have to do is ask.” Matt Stockstill, transitional living specialist, partnered with the Body of Christ Church in Raleigh to collect suitcases for youth being served in the North Carolina New Day program. Tara Ward, New Day clinical supervisor in Greensboro, received a donation of six highchairs for the New Day program. The highchairs will help youth who have children or

Foxworth placed an Internet ad asking for help, explaining her role as a family therapist and giving some general details about the girl’s needs without identifying her. Thanks to a generous community, the young girl was able to get several large bags of clothes.

who are pregnant. Many of the youth in the New Day program who have children cannot afford supplies needed to care for their babies. With these highchairs, families will be able to have meals

“I could see the relief her parents and she felt knowing

with their children sitting at the table.

she would be able to attend school with appropriate at-

Katie from page 4

“I could tell a difference after a few months. Now I know to stop and think before I react when someone makes me angry. I walk away instead of getting in trouble.” Her grades have improved. Katie’s helping out around the house. She’s better equipped to productively cope with events that previously triggered angry outbursts.

Multisystemic Therapy is the treatment approach Youth Villages North

to say and try it. It will work.’” Mom also has more tools. “We are

Carolina provides to help children

getting closer to being what a family

and families in their own homes and

should be,” she said. “Katie hasn’t

communities. MST counselors provide

lost her attitude and confidence, but

intensive help for families, meeting

she is able to apply it in a constructive

in the home at least three times each


week and providing 24-hour, on-call support. “It surprised me how committed my counselor and family were to the

Katie’s getting back on track to achieve her goals, and she has the support of her family to help her get there.

program,” Katie said. “To someone

“I see her finishing school, going

else beginning the program, I would

into the Navy and making something

say, ‘Listen to what the counselor has

of herself,” mom said. 5

New Charlotte office opening offers practice in persistence When Youth Villages opens a new office, it involves learning new


government policies, procedures

daily efforts set

and processes. In addition, local and

the stage to save

state government offices also learn

one child and get

how Youth Villages works. Shortly

her the help she

after a new Youth Villages office


opened in Charlotte, N.C., key play-

“Tomesia had

ers in youth services for the Mecklen-

to be persistent;

burg County area got to see how far

she had to con-

Youth Villages goes to help children.

stantly check up

In many ways, this Multisystemic

on things,” Sarah

Pictured from the Youth Villages Charlotte office, left to right, are Amrah Regazzi, clinical supervisor; Bethany Gremel, regional manager; and Lauren Walter, clinical supervisor.

Therapy referral was just like many

O’Reilly, Youth

new key players who had not gen-


Villages place-

erally worked with Youth Villages

ment specialist,


Charlotte Family Counselor Tomesia Courtney saw this child as a per-

said. “In addition

fect match for MST, but there were

to her regular

out to officials in an effort to push


work, this other

through this girl’s application,”

case needed con-

O’Reilly said. “I think we sent the

The young girl and her family didn’t have active Medicaid – but that was just the beginning. Courtney scheduled an assessment

stant attention.”

“Tomesia proactively reached

Tomesia Courtney

This attention included weekly contacts with the

message out to the community that Youth Villages does whatever it takes.”

with the family to get a better un-

girl, her family and social services.

derstanding of the family situation in

It involved consistent updating and

Medicaid activated. Because all the

order to determine the most appro-

resubmitting of treatment plans to

paperwork was completed and ready

priate service.

officials and state and county repre-

for review, the girl and her family


were quickly able to begin receiving

When the assessment was complete and Courtney could cite evi-

There never was a guarantee the

More than 12 weeks after it began,

MST with Youth Villages.

dence that this child and family were

girl would be approved for MST, but

“Without everyone on our team

ideal candidates for MST, she also

Courtney kept all the paperwork and

doing their part, this family wouldn’t

arranged a diagnostic assessment for

everyone on the family’s team up-

have received the help they needed,”

the child as her previous assessment

dated so that — if the funding was

O’Reilly said. “We expect this of all

had lapsed.

approved — she would be ready to

our employees when it comes to

submit the girl’s information for MST.

helping kids and their families.”

For the next few months this child wasn’t a client, but she still had an 6


This was done in a new office with

Program Success

Harvard study lauds Youth Villages

from page 3

those issues using multiple strategies, including working with the family, peer groups, schools and the community. MST counselors provide intensive help for families, meeting in the home at least three times each week and providing 24-hour, on-call support. The intensive program has great results. In Youth Villages’ MST program in North Carolina, 88 percent of youth are discharged successfully

The Sicoia aged out of foster care and needed continuing support. Because of the New Day program, she is working her way through college. “I like it,” she said. “I know how to live my own life now.”

to their families. Most youth stay in the MST program for three to six months. In North Carolina, the MST program received a generous grant from The Duke Endowment to help expand the program.

‘New Day’ Transitional Living

Harvard Business School recently completed a case study that

out of state custody get a good start

examines Youth Villages’ growth

on adulthood. In North Carolina, the

and impact as a national leader in

transitional living program is called

the field of children’s behavioral

“New Day,” and counselors help

health in the last decade.

young people learn to deal with the

Written by HBS Professor Allen

minor and major problems that come

Grossman, Catherine Ross of the

with adulthood.

HBS Global Research Group and

They help participants find hous-

William Foster, a partner at the

Former foster children are one

ing and health services, learn how

Bridgespan Group, the case study

of our country’s most vulnerable

to access transportation and meet

explores Youth Villages’ innova-

groups. Studies show that without

their basic needs. Counselors teach

tive treatment approach, use of

ongoing support, young people who

such life skills as budgeting, menu

research in program development

have grown up in state custody are

planning and grocery shopping. They

and targeted growth strategies.

more likely to have trouble find-

help young people learn the skills

ing and maintaining employment

needed to find and keep jobs, and

was written for inclusion in a new

and completing even a high school

sometimes help them reunite with

course at HBS called “Leading

education. They are more likely to

their families.

and Governing Highly Effective

have trouble managing mental and

In 2009, The Day Foundation

The case on Youth Villages

Nonprofit Organizations.” “Youth Villages is a highly effec-

physical health issues, and they have

granted $1 million so Youth Villages

a significantly higher chance than the

could begin the transitional living

tive organization with quality lead-

rest of the population of becoming

program in North Carolina.

ership and a proven approach,”

homeless. In 1999, Youth Villages, through

The New Day program has helped more than 100 young people in

a grant from The Day Foundation,

Durham, Guilford and Wake counties

began a transitional living program to

this year.

Grossman says. The complete case study is available at

help youth ages 17-22 transitioning 7

YOUTH VILLAGES (Address Service Requested)

Non-Profit Organization U.S. Postage Paid Permit No. 1324

A private nonprofit organization, Youth Villages serves more than 15,000 children and their families from offices in the following cities: Alabama: Anniston, Birmingham, Dothan, Hunstville, Mobile Arkansas: Jonesboro, Little Rock Florida: Lakeland, Miami, Tampa Georgia: Atlanta, Douglasville Massachusetts: Lawrence, Woburn, Worcester Mississippi: Biloxi, Hattiesburg, Jackson, Tupelo New Hampshire: Manchester North Carolina: Asheville, Charlotte, Concord, Greensboro, Greenville, Hickory, Pinehurst, Raleigh-Durham, Wilmington Tennessee: Chattanooga, Clarksville, Columbia, Cookeville, Dickson, Dyersburg, Jackson, Johnson City, Knoxville, Linden, Memphis, Morristown, Nashville, Paris Texas: Dallas Virginia: Arlington, Roanoke Washington, D.C. Please write to Youth Villages’ Charlotte office if you wish to have your name removed from our mailing list. Attn: Charlotte office mailing 2815 Coliseum Centre Dr., Suite 230 Charlotte, NC 28217

New Heights is published by Youth Villages Managing editor: Annie Smith Associate editor: Chris Pennington

Founded in Memphis, Tenn., in 1986, Youth Villages has built a national reputation for offering the most effective programs and services to help emotionally troubled children and their families. The private nonprofit organization provides a fully intergrated continuum of services, including residential treatment, in-home services, foster care and adoption, mentoring and a transitional living program for young adults aging out of foster care.


Meet one of the Youth Villages staff ALSO INSIDE: Family Victories from Youth Villages, North Carolina Sending a consistent message to help...


Meet one of the Youth Villages staff ALSO INSIDE: Family Victories from Youth Villages, North Carolina Sending a consistent message to help...