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New Perspectives - Apr, 2000 Issue #68 

Salt Lake City, Utah
Lee Caldwell, Director

Turnabout is a Day Treatment Program for teenagers and their families that helps youth identify and resolve the underlying issues that are driving the destructive acting out behaviors being witnessed. “Turnabout’s mission is to combat juvenile delinquency by providing families in the community with the resources they need to help themselves. Turnabout embraces the idea that education, awareness, intervention, treatment and aftercare are services necessary to promote the mental and social well being of the community. Turnabout’s mission is to deliver excellent mental health care in a cost effective manner to improve our clients’ quality of life and maximize the dignity and self-respect of each individual client.”

Clients move through a six-tiered level system with treatment goals tailored specifically to meet their individual needs. ”Behaviors for particular individuals may vary considerably, depending on the child’s issues.”

Day treatment takes place in an out-patient setting after which time clients return either to their own, or a host family’s home every evening. Turnabout also provides services to families who live outside the Salt Lake City area. Such students are placed in the Turnabout host home network, and if appropriate, a permanent host home is arranged for them. Parents of out-of-town students are encouraged to visit Turnabout on a regular basis to participate in weekly parents group and family counseling sessions.

They use an “eclectic approach towards treatment…with the idea that no two youth or families are the same, therefore we cannot generalize treatment for all involved.” Instead they implement a treatment plan based on individual information.

“Turnabout values and relies on our resources in the community to help meet the needs of today’s troubled youth. As children and families are referred to Turnabout, our counselors and staff stay in close contact with the referring therapist/professional in order to ensure the best quality of care possible. When the child/family is at the appropriate level, we encourage and help facilitate the process of that family returning to the referring therapist/professional for the continuum of care.”

They have also developed a private school in order to meet the educational needs of clients during treatment. Upon entering the program, clients are evaluated, tested, and placed accordingly. “Our teachers and counselors work closely to ensure the quality and consistency of teaching, learning, and growth within our classrooms.”

“Parents are required to come to a Weekly Parent Group that is tailored to help families work on issues. We ask that parents become an active part of the treatment team…parental involvement in Turnabout is our key and secret to success.”

Turnabout also has a partnership with Rising Sun Ranch, in Lehi, Utah which “enables troubled youth to have an opportunity to experience the day to day operations of a working horse ranch. A group of clients are transported to the ranch on a daily basis to work, train, raise, and draw upon the treatment parallels between youth and horses. The ranch experience combined with therapy, family counseling, and education, make for a powerful and successful treatment experience.”

(Note: Turnabout is in no way associated with the Turn About Ranch in Esclante, Utah that was recently purchased by Aspen Youth Services.)

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