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New Perspectives - Feb, 2000 Issue #66 

 Red Rock Canyon School
St. George, Utah
Todd Hockenbury, Admissions

Red Rock Canyon School is a state-licensed treatment facility for adolescents ages 12 to 17, with behavioral and/or emotional problems who require a level of structure and treatment beyond what is available in traditional outpatient clinics, but who do not require inpatient psychiatric care.

They “utilize state-of-the art treatment programming provided by licensed professionals and highly qualified staff who are deeply committed to helping youth.” They offer an interactive student living program with a highly structured and supportive environment designed to foster acceptance and support so students can practice their newly acquired social skills. Student participation in enrichment, recreational and vocational training programs “further complement their preparation for life challenges and their overall sense of happiness and well-being.” There are three levels of care abailable at Red Rock Canyon School – Residential, Transitional, and Independent Living.

The residential level is a “staff-secured” environment, with students under direct supervision by unit staff at all times, twenty-four hours a day, seven days a weeks. At this level, students learn to demonstrate cooperation and responsibility. The Transition Level youth are housed on campus in a separate living units, where they are supervised by staff, but are responsible for keeping their own daily schedule, and are encouraged to take a more active role in their treatment planning. The focus on this level is on life skills and vocational training.

Youth 17 years or older, who have successfully completed the first two levels qualify for the Independent Living experience. These youth need continued placement in order to learn and apply life skills training in order to prepare themselves for living without the benefit of a family situation once they are discharged. Youth on this level are required to obtain and maintain gainful employment and to complete their education either through high school graduation or GED completion.

After discharge, Red Rock seeks to establish a support network. Individual Aftercare Plans are outlined and addressed, to ensure that the youth’s transition back to family life or an independent living situation, is a supportive and effective one. If applicable, arrangements are made for continued counseling, support groups and/or medical monitoring.

Red Rock has adopted a non-punitive parenting style called Positive Discipline, to provide “structure, unconditional acceptance, parenting and security” as well as the “Support, guidance, and opportunity” which adolescents required for growth and development. Learning from mistakes and being held accountable for the outcome of choices helps students to understand the power of their choices. Positive Discipline used encouragement instead of praise, in order to teach self- evaluation, and speak top the deed and not so much to the doer. Abiding self-esteem is derived from real achievement. It is solution oriented, looking for solutions, in order to invite cooperation.

The school uses a multi-therapeutic model, with specific treatment modalities including group therapy, individual therapy, intensive substance abuse treatment programming and family therapy.

They have a provisional accreditation through the National Private Schools Accreditation Group, and offer year-round academics as well as enrichment classes in areas such as art, music, sports, vocational training in culinary arts and electronics. Their comprehensive Case Management system provides parents ongoing opportunities to be involved in every aspect of the program.

Copyright © 2000, 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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