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New Perspectives - Feb, 1993 Issue #20 

HOME ON THE RANGE
Sentinel Butte, North Dakota
Jeff Walters, Admissions Administrator
701-872-3745

Home On The Range is a working ranch with several supplemental programs for children with special needs such as Children of Alcoholics, Human Sexuality Education, Eating Disorders Education etc. They enroll boys and girls between the ages of 10 and 18, with 70 being their optimum number. It was founded in 1950, is a nonprofit corporation under the auspices of the Catholic Diocese of Bismarck, and is planning an expansion into Eastern Montana for a girl's facility.

The emphasis for most of its existence has been on the structure of ranch type responsibilities for the young people where they can learn appropriate behavior. They work closely with, and have adopted much of the behavior management used by Boys Town in Nebraska. "Research conducted at Boys Town indicates that a large portion of the inappropriate behavior demonstrated by youth is a result of not knowing the appropriate behavior or skill to be used in that specific social situation. The primary goal of the system is to replace inappropriate skills by teaching and reinforcing the use of more socially acceptable behavior. Research indicates that this type of teaching method also is effective in promoting better relationships between residents and staff, as a primary focus is on reinforcing and praising the use of appropriate skills. Staff using the teaching method are expected to reinforce appropriate behavior minimally four times as often as inappropriate behavior is consequented."

In addition to the home type environment found on the ranch, they offer "a variety of therapy programs and treatment modalities for the youth in placement.... Treatment programs include victims of abuse therapy, drug and alcohol addiction aftercare programs (COA, AA and Step Group), sexual offender treatment, independent living program, human sexuality education, anger management, social skill development, spiritual development, monthly Strengthening Family Workshops, education programming and eating disorders education."

Copyright 1993, Woodbury Reports, Inc. (This article may be reproduced without prior approval if the copyright notice and proper publication and author attribution accompanies the copy.)

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