Planning the Future of Community
Residential services, as a behavioral health community constant, is in need of an update in order to provide efficient and effective programs for homeless and displaced youth that struggle with housing, transportation, education, and employment in addition to their mental, emotional, physical, and social well-being. Oakwood Grove represents a revolution in residential services.
The philosophy of Oakwood Grove is grounded in an integral approach to helping youth through difficult transitions and situations in life: that is, focused on addressing biological needs, providing psychological support, offering cultural understanding, and advocating systemic change.
To this end, Oakwood Grove is dedicated generally to
- providing reasonable and lawful services to homeless and displaced youth and for their parents to find encouragement in making suitable decisions as alternatives to both systemic and situational distress that are the foundation to legal and ethical challenges;
- identifying and encouraging the use of skilled resources which are available to help youth and their families resolve conflicts;
- helping youth and the adults in various roles within their lives to communicate with and understand each other effectively;
- advocating for youth and their families through community assistance; and
- operating long-term, short-term, and emergency-type housing facilities for youth.
Board of Trustees
Ideally, the Board of Trustees for Oakwood Grove will be composed of a variety of individuals from diverse, though relevant, backgrounds and fields. Among these include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Behavioral Health
Also, included on the Board should be a representative for children services, the courts (local and state), juvenile detention, local law enforcement, and the public defender’s office.
Members of the Board would serve without compensation.
Proposing programs for a full-featured facility requires a delicate balance. Programs and facilities would be designed, built, and launched in a systematic and methodical manner based on both exhibited and perceived need for services in the surrounding community.
The following is a brief overview of Oakwood Grove services:
Youth Engagement Services (The YES Center)
The YES Center is an immediate crisis care facility designed around a triage unit to provide on-the-spot services to youth in need of a meal, a phone call, transportation, and minor medical care. It is also the central hub for admissions into other Oakwood Grove programs.
Administrative & Counseling Suite
In addition to centralized administration and security for the entire Oakwood Grove facility, the AC Suite offers drop-in, short-term, long-term, and aftercare counseling in addition to help obtaining public assistance and medical insurance, and providing a hub for employment opportunities (mail sending/receiving & computer services) for displaced youth.
There are four types of Housing Pods in Oakwood Grove.
(1) Transitional Pod is for youth that are in the process of moving from a state of homelessness to a residential opportunity (housing, foster home, etc). These are staff monitored dorm style facilities that offer a place to stay for up to 10 weeks.
(2) Residential Pod is for youth that need a longer place to live while working through Children Services or similar program. These facilities are allocated further into short-term (11-25 weeks/2-6 months) and long-term (6-18 months—or longer for the Independent Living Skills program). Groups of 4-6 youth are divided into individual living units, along with a permanent “house facilitator” and an assigned counselor or counseling intern.
(3) Special Needs Pod is for youth with needs that require additional assistance with Activities of Daily Living. Placement is considered transitional or short-term only.
(4) Specific Offenses Pod is for justice system-involved youth that require segregation of living space from other youth. These youth may continue to participate in other public activities under supervision. Placement is considered transitional or short-term only.
Recreational & Educational Commons (The REC)
Oakwood Grove provides for the social and educational needs for youth under its care through The REC.
(1) The Recreational Commons is equipped with a full theater and stage facilities, recreational facilities, and gym facilities.
Additionally, a singular dedicated space for spiritual connection would be provided for all faiths (without exception) and staffed by local volunteers from representative faiths that have been trained by Oakwood Grove in a trauma-informed approach to the spiritual needs of the population served by the facility.
(2) The Educational Commons is fully equipped for onsite and remote educational opportunities for local school districts and multiple university programs.
Primary staff of Oakwood Grove will be full-time employees, all of which should have some experience within behavioral health. It will be preferred that primary administrative and non-administrative staff be comprised of those with relevant licenses—LPC (LPCC, LPCC-S), LSW (LISW, LISW-S), MFT (IMFT, IMFT-S), and OT (SOT)—but this is not an exclusionary requirement for employment as a professional or academic degree in a relevant field is also acceptable.
Secondary full-time and part-time staff should have complete and relevant trauma-informed training.
Tertiary staff comprised of minimal resident-facing positions may be hired without further credentials beyond a high school diploma or equivalent.
Interns within a relevant degree program are a welcome addition to either primary or secondary staffing.
1234 Test St. #1000
Akron, OH 55555