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Horizon Family Solutions, LLC | Article

Alpine Academy Offers Family Based Residential Treatment that Is Uniquely Successful

1/28/2014
Christian Egan
Admissions Director
Alpine Academy offers family based residential treatment that is uniquely successful at helping teenage girls learn the skills to succeed at home, in school, and with their own families. When I first drove up to the campus, it appeared that I was arriving at a farm. Although I was pretty sure I was at the right location, the feeling was very different from other campuses I had recently visited. I believe the peaceful location is part of what makes their healing process work. The open spaces, clean air, and beautiful mountains help create a calm and safe environment.

I was greeted by Christian Egan and we then walked into a large, modern-day preparatory boarding school with high vaulted ceilings, and a long bright open hallway.

Alpine Academy, founded in 2001, is a non-profit organization, owned by Utah Youth Village, founded in 1969.

They are licensed as a residential treatment facility in the state of Utah and are certified as a non-public school.

Alpine Academy has standard classrooms, typical of any high school, though on a smaller scale with 8-12 students per class. Each classroom I visited looked different. Some were set up in a horseshoe format; some were more standard with rows, while others still were arranged in pods. One room had yoga ball chairs setup allowing for movement during study. The school also has a space in the center where girls can go study when they are having an emotionally difficult time staying in class. This room also hosts the only area where girls can use the Internet, with permission, while they are working on research projects under supervision. At the far end of the schoolhouse are a kitchen and the dining hall, where girls bring sack lunches from their home and eat family style. Treatment takes place in a family style environment, which increases opportunities to realize and teach to maladaptive behaviors.

This multi-dimensional strategy is a catalyst providing a nurturing, individualized, and strength-based treatment environment. I visited one of the homes. The girls live in one of six single family homes. Each home houses a family room near the entrance, full kitchen, laundry, living room, den, and bedrooms. Two girls share a room, although in some houses, the rooms are separated by closets so it feels like they have more of a single room.

They do their own laundry and chores on a rotation and each is responsible for her own space.

Alpine Academy focuses on a therapeutically based family style environment, with an emphasis on individualized treatment for each girl and her family.

One thing that stood out to me about Alpine Academy is that there are video cameras throughout the campus, motion sensors between the beds and alarms on the doors and windows. Each girl has a call box as well in the event that she needs to get up in the middle of the night. When I asked about this, it was explained that the cameras were placed as a safeguard for both the girls and the staff and the alarms allowed the girls to depend on staff in the middle of the night if they needed to get out of bed. This allows the girls the ability to sleep through the night. Alpine Academy is a well-balanced program for adolescent girls struggling to find themselves. At the same time, they are licensed as a residential treatment center, although the campus feels nothing like a treatment center.

Their parent company, Utah Youth Village, is one of the largest and oldest charities in Utah helping troubled children. It is the only organization in Utah certified to use the Teaching-Family Model, perhaps the most thoroughly researched treatment method for troubled children and families in use today.

Those trained in the Teaching-Family Model provide security and love while teaching consistency and respect. Using this method, 82% of their girls are successful at implementing their new skills and stabilizing back at home, or in a step down placement.

Average Length of Stay: 12-14 Months

Optimum Occupancy per Home: 8 to 10 Girls

Staff to Youth Ratio: 1:4

Populations Served: Females only, ages 12-18

For families seeking the assistance of an Advocate / Educational & Therapeutic Consultant, please contact Dr. Frances, PhD. We will be happy to set up a free consultation and begin the discussion of how we can help you and your family today.