The S.A.F.E System Facilitates Behavior Management as Part of Youth Residential Therapy

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Individualized treatment plans include:
1. Psychiatric & Medical Services
2. Social Work & Therapeutic Support
3. Nature-Based & Animal-Assisted Therapy
4. Behavior Management
5. Family Therapy & Support

Safety is one of the most important components of a therapeutic community. A system that motivates children to behave safely promotes a youth residential therapy environment in which positive growth and change can be supported and accomplished by allowing the delivery of multiple treatment services. Green Chimneys employs the Safety Level System of behavior management, designed to:

  • Motivate children to behave safely
  • Identify the individual progress each child has made in maintaining safety
  • Provide a consistent assessment tool that is coupled with the granting of specific privileges and rewards


The S.A.F.E. System has four levels:

1) Striver: All newly admitted children start in this level. Individual orientation and mentoring are provided during the first 30 days after admission to gradually introduce the program to the child. Participation in all therapeutic activities is encouraged. Following this period, and approval from the treatment team, the child is permitted to go off grounds for trips and visits.

2) Achiever: At this level, and as long safe behaviors are maintained, children participate in all activities on campus, attend off-grounds trips, and are granted visits. Behavioral treatment goals are developed and rated. Participation in treatment planning conferences is encouraged.

3) Forward: After maintaining a minimum of 2 months at the Achiever level, and with treatment team approval, children progress to the Forward level. Children start to gain more independence by joining peers at the same level for meal times, applying to different jobs on campus reserved for this level, and going on special off-grounds trips. Mentoring training begins and participation in treatment team conferences is highly encouraged.

4) Exemplar: After a minimum of 2 months at the Forward level, the treatment team meets to discuss the transition from Forward to Exemplar, the highest level of the system. Children enjoy increased independence based on their ability to demonstrate that they are safe members of the Green Chimneys community. Participation in off-campus activities is promoted, contact with the community is encouraged, and safety is rewarded. Children at this level can mentor those at the Striver level, apply for jobs on and off campus, if appropriate and approved by the treatment team. Discharge from the youth residential therapy program is discussed.

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