Recently two of the CERTS Programs–Kolob Canyon and Moonridge Academy earned Gold Status as a Research Designated Programs. Both programs have over 5 years of data that show the outcomes of treatment. All of the CERTS Programs have long been affiliated with NATSAP (National Association of Therapeutic Schools and Programs). Many years ago NATSAP decided that collecting data to monitor the outcomes of treatment was essential. As explained on the NATSAP Website, “The Board of Directors of NATSAP has long realized that our profession has the responsibility of providing data that examines the impact and effectiveness of our programs. To this end the Board of NATSAP established the status of Research Designated Program to be given to programs that apply and demonstrate they are involved in supplying data that is aimed at evaluating NATSAP program effectiveness and increasing the understanding of our programs impact on youth and their families”. CERTS Programs Kolob Canyon, La Europa Academy, and Moonridge Academy became some of the first programs to become Research Designated Programs.
Parents often ask, “What is your success rate?” This is a difficult question to answer since each student comes to a CERTS Program with similar but unique issues and at different places in the recovery process. Our treatment is highly individualized to accommodate these differences, so the “success rate” varies depending on how success is defined. In spite of each student’s uniqueness, there are commonalities among the students that do allow us to define success and measure students’ progress. At the CERTS Programs, we have selected the Youth Outcomes Questionnaire (YOQ) as our tool to gauge student progress. The YOQ is a valid and reliable instrument that is used across the country in a variety of treatment settings. Using an instrument that has statistical validity and reliability helps insure that our data is consistently and accurately measuring students’ progress. It helps the CERTS Program determine the effective of residential treatment.
So, what do these outcome graphs show? Parents and students are asked to fill out the Youth Outcome Questionaire upon admission, discharge, 180 days after treatment and again 365 days after treatment. The dotted line that runs through the graph is indicative of a typical teen who is not receiving therapeutic intervention. The first bar of the graph indicates the degree of clinical significance at student has upon admission to Kolob Canyon and Moonridge Academy. Most students admitting to Kolob and Moonridge are having clinically significant issues. The second bar of the graph demonstrates how parents and students are rating the student upon discharge. The third bar of the graph shows how students are doing 180 days after treatment. The fourth bar shows how a student is doing at 365 days from treatment.
The first graph shows how students themselves have responded to the Youth Outcome Questionnaire upon admission to Kolob Canyon and Moonridge Academy. Students tend to view themselves favorably. Their outcome questionnaires indicate that potential students don’t feel that they are experiencing many behavioral, relationship or mental health issues. The second graph shows how the parents of Kolob Canyon and Moonridge Academy students have responded to the same questionnaire regarding their daughters. This means that parents view their daughters to be experiencing a high degree of behavioral, relationship and mental health issues. The next bar of the graph shows how our parents score their daughters upon discharge from Kolob and Moonridge. As you can see, there is significant progress made from admission to discharge, with parents scoring their daughters below that of the “typical teenager”. We expect this to happen because a girl has just completed extensive treatment in the time she is at Kolob Canyon and Moonridge Academy. The third bar shows how parents view their daughters 6 months post graduation or following treatment. We actually expect this slight increase to occur as a girl is back in her regular day-to-day life. At a year following treatment, we see that the majority of the girls who have graduated from the Kolob and Moonridge programs level out, scoring very similar to the “typical teenager”. Our data then shows that girls maintain this same level of behavior for the next 5 years. We have been monitoring many of our students up to 5 years following discharge.
CERTS remains highly committed to the research process and the assistance research provides us in providing successful treatment to our students and their families.