Woodbury Reports Archives


The Internet's leading source of information on emotional growth schools & programs

Archives Contents

Archives Home
Contents by Year
      1989 - Present
Contents by Topic
      Industry News
      Schools & Visits
      Opinions & Essays

Archives Search

The easiest way to find information is by using our search function. Just type in the words you would like to search for and you'll get a list of articles related to your topic.

Site Index

Schools & Programs
Chat Board
Online Store
Contact Us

Schools & Program Visits - Aug, 1994 Issue #29 

Billings, Montana
Rusty Lundin, Director of Marketing
Lon's Visit: July 19, 1994 

Located on 400 acres among the wheat and corn fields a few miles outside Billings, Yellowstone Treatment Centers shows many signs of their evolution from the original Boys Ranch which started in 1957. The water tower (which is still in use) has the original YBR emblem from the days of the boys ranch. The sign over the main entrance welcomes the visitor to Yellowstone Boys and Girls Ranch, and of course the current staffing is appropriate for a facility working with children ranging from those having behavioral problems to those seriously disturbed. 

A few years ago they took steps to qualify for Medicaid, along with JACHO accreditation etc., in order to better serve children who had considerable needs but whose parents did not have insurance or personal resources to cover the tuition. Thus, they took on the name of Yellowstone Treatment Center. However, as Director Loren Soft emphasized during my tour, the original elements of the ranch are still as important as ever. This includes the work ethic, (students still work on the farm and with animals as well as take responsibility for keeping their living space and the grounds clean), structure (consequences are clear, immediate and appropriate), and character building recreation (swimming pool, how to handle a canoe, extensive ropes course, etc.). Although these elements belong in a treatment center, they also can stand alone as healing tools without extensive therapy and probably are the most important elements for the healing of a child who has only behavioral problems. They are of course inadequate for the child who is seriously disturbed. 

Another element that is available to the young people is the nondenominational chapel. Participation is high because it is effectively geared to the basic needs, especially spiritual needs, of all young people. Walking in the door, the sense of safety permeates the building, more so than any other part of the campus I saw. Biblical lessons are applied to the actual problems and challenges the young people are working on, which includes a welcoming ceremony for each new child, and a graduation ceremony for each one who is graduating. 

As are most other treatment centers around the country, Yellowstone Treatment Centers is wrestling with current changes in the administration of Medicaid, insurance, and the growth of HMOs. The third party payment environment is changing rapidly for Yellowstone Treatment Centers, and Director Loren Soft is exploring ways to respond to the changing environment while still maintaining their integrity and the success of their mission, which is to provide the best service possible to young people in need from Montana and elsewhere in the country. I'm sure he would like to hear the ideas of others who are looking at the same challenges.  

Copyright 1994, Woodbury Reports, Inc. (This article may be reproduced without prior approval if the copyright notice and proper publication and author attribution accompanies the copy.)

Site and content copyright 1998, 1999 by Woodbury Reports Inc. All rights reserved.