380 West Second St.
Dayton, OH 45422
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Referrals are accepted through the Montgomery County Juvenile Court or the Montgomery County Children Services Division. All youth considered for admission to Nicholas undergo a pre-screen assessment to determine suitability for each program type. In addition to falling within the profile outlined above, students should be enrolled in high school, have an IQ above 70 (or can be accommodated by an IEP) and be physically capable of participating in the program.
Once a youth is accepted into care at Nicholas, we use an intake assessment process that includes emotional, cognitive and aptitude tests. Youth entering the traditional Nicholas Program will be given two research–validated assessment tools that are used to help guide development of the Individual Service Plan. The Ohio Youth Assessment System (OYAS) and the Independent Living Assessment are used along with the clinical assessment to inform the treatment planning for each student.
Each new youth will go through a highly structured orientation/assessment process that will assists the Clinical Treatment Team in developing the appropriate program objectives and skill development plan to meet the needs of each youth.
Research suggests that youth need to re-learn how to think through difficult situations using effective problem-solving skills supported by positive values.
Nicholas has implemented effective behavioral models including evidence-based cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), which targets criminogenic risk factors, and structured social learning where new skills and behaviors are modeled.
The Substance program provides a short term; trauma informed residential treatment care for youth ages 11-17 in need of intensive alcohol and drug treatment services in a staff secure setting. Services offered include daily partial hospitalization services, mental health groups and individual and family counseling sessions. We offer comprehensive diagnostic assessments, psychotropic medication management, and support recovery service.
Youth placed in our traditional Nicholas program classified as high-risk to reoffend receive weekly treatment interventions based on their projected length of stay. This is driven by each youth’s service plan, and in concert with our CBT approach. Nicholas offers a variety of education and skill-building groups for youth, which enable them to receive the appropriate dosage of cognitive-based intervention and skill-building opportunities designed to reduce risk factors and meet their needs. The curricula and skills used to deliver these services include:
We have a multitiered framework of supports that ensures that Nicholas utilized evidence based behavioral interventions that enhance positive behavior outcomes. This promotes a safe, predictable and consistent approach to behavior management by highlighting desired behaviors through positive reinforcements. At Nicholas, staff model desired behavior expectations, and use effective interventions to support our youth.
Our structure utilizes a multi-tiered system of supports that interconnect systems, practices and data that drives outcomes. This culture is based on an environment that fosters trust, individual responsibility, mutual respect, achievement and learning. It includes:
Education is a vital component for all youth and will be provided by the in-house established charter school, Nicholas Liberty. Each student will receive Ohio mandated instruction by fully accredited teachers in the core subject areas in a year round program. The opportunities also exist for elective credits on an individual student basis and end of year state testing. We strive to help students’ bridge educational gaps, pass to higher grade levels, earn credits, and more. When a youth is eligible for the transition phase of the program they will begin a reintroduction to their home school. Upon entering the transition phase of the program they will then attend their home school while maintaining support from Nicholas Liberty. Students will have access to books, magazines, and many other forms of media through a check out process at our on campus library. All literary forms are monitored to ensure age appropriate materials and all media will require a rating of PG-13 or under. We encourage students to use this resource for recreational purposes, as well as educational ones.
A positive organizational culture utilizes the powerful influence of reinforcers to assist youth in changing behaviors that detract from their ability to progress in their treatment plan. The norms of our positive organizational culture drive all positive reinforcers (i.e. progression in Levels, which allows a youth more frequent home passes, television time, movies, site visits, etc.), and negative reinforcers, (fines, privilege restrictions, essays, SCV status, etc.) As a youth progresses within the culture and gains “High Response” they are afforded more responsibilities and freedom of choice. Conversely, if a youth does not progress staff reevaluate the youth’s goals and determine more effective processes for the youth’s success. Variances from the culture norms are processed by the staff as they occur. Positive/Negative reinforcers are used to reward/reprove behaviors based on the behavior being exhibited. Youth who are observed changing or go above and beyond are reenforced with greater positive incentive that are either tangible from our Incentive Store or privilege based from our program incentives.
Family involvement and collaboration is important to these youth, and to the treatment process. Nicholas works to engage parents from the admission process, and continues to work with them through their child’s discharge. Families are assisted during family therapy sessions to work on the issues that were problematic prior to placement identified during their family assessment at orientation. Utilizing this structural-strategic approach to family, therapist work to places the parents back in the authoritative position in the family while at the same time providing the appropriate structure and boundaries required for when the youth is returned home.
Nicholas staff work with families through treatment planning, service reviews and two-way communication. Families are supported through family therapy, visitation and community transition. Additional referrals to aid in the stability and success of the family are made on an as needed basis.
Recreation and leisure time activities play an important role in the daily schedule. Nicholas youth learn how to use this time positively and productively through active participation in many different activities including sports, art, music, board games, etc. Nicholas partners with community providers such as HAALO and K12 to bring artistic and educational activities for youth to engage in. Many of these activities are provided on campus at Nicholas’s gymnasium, multipurpose rooms, library, or student lounge. Many of campus activities are scheduled for Friday evenings once you are on the appropriate level and response. We encourage activities that improve the way you interact with others, build your self-confidence and athletic skills.
Opportunities exist for youth to participate in employment and extracurricular activities during Transition Phase. Other extracurricular activities through Liberty School exist such as community projects, art, science fairs, writing & poetry competitions, field trips and more.
The community has played a critical role in shaping a youth’s behavior. So too, must these community resources and assets be accessed to help re-shape a youth’s delinquent behavior into pro-social behavior. Community service and service learning activities are part of the Restorative Justice model adopted by Nicholas. Using this approach, Nicholas strives to rebuild the youths’ relationships youth with their community by connecting them to resources and providing community service opportunities.
In turn, we want youth to be viewed as a resource to their community and youth to develop a sense of social responsibility and competency. While Nicholas works with numerous worthwhile organizations, ongoing community service projects include:
On-site medical staff and an on-site clinic support the youth at Nicholas. The medical services include:
Like other services, the transition plan is driven by individual results of assessments and youth needs. The transition plan supports the youth’s service plan and outlines support services that youth will need as they integrate back into the community. Many plans include transition back to their home school, employment, team sport/club and continued counseling supports.
Montgomery County Juvenile Court
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