Our Step Down program is designed for youth as they are transitioning back into their home and family. The Step Down program is a 2-6 week support program that is implemented as a part of Phase 4 and before the student has graduated from the Salem residential program. When a young man has been successful at Salem4youth but there are questions about his successful integration back home, there are times when it is advantageous for him to experience a “trial run” at home while still being officially enrolled at Salem. In other words, the student goes home to see if he will be successful but has not yet graduated the behavior program at Salem. Some reasons may include:
- The desire to give him opportunity to make new friends that would be a good influence while under the supervision of the guardians and Salem staff.
- The desire to see if he has had the heart change necessary and to demonstrate his willingness to follow the rules and make good choices.
- The family believes that Salem’s ongoing assistance is pivotal for the young man and the family to solidify their relationship while the “dust settles”.
- The family believes that life may be too overwhelming and a slower transition into home and school life is in their son’s best interest.
The Step-Down program consists of two main components. They are as follows:
- Student goals and objectives: The student will follow the rules set forth by the family while he is at home. He would have the same rules and responsibilities expected of him as if he had graduated the behavior program and was living at home.
During this 2-6 week period, the student will be given a set of objectives to complete to demonstrate his desire to do well at home. The goals and objectives given are tailored to each young man’s strengths and weaknesses.
- Family goals and objectives: The family will follow the rules set forth by the Treatment Team at Salem. During this 2-6 week period, the family will be given a set of objectives to complete to demonstrate their desire to make the necessary changes to ensure the student does well at home. The goals and objectives that are given are tailored to each family dynamic.
The Treatment Team, the Student and the Family agree upon the duration of the Step-Down process. During that time, a weekly appointment is made by the therapist to meet with the parents and the student, and to go over the progress (or lack thereof) of the family as a whole.