Credo Community Center has been in the business of treating substance abuse for over 40 years. With outpatient and residential facilities in Watertown, New York, it offers care for adults and adolescents in Jefferson County and surrounding areas. Men, women and adolescents are all treated separately. The adolescents reside on The Farm, just a few miles from the main office, and the outpatient center is in Watertown along with the men’s halfway houses and the women’s residential facilities. Watertown is just 70 miles north of Syracuse and 30 miles south of Ontario, Canada, in one of the most picturesque areas on the East Coast.
Accommodations and Food
The Credo Women’s Intensive Residential program is set in a beautifully renovated home just outside downtown Watertown. Residents all share in the upkeep of the home and its grounds and tend to the vegetable garden in the back. This program accepts women ages 16 years and up, pregnant mothers and women with pre-school aged children. Established in 1998, the house serves up to 15 women and, depending on the census, there are four to a room. There are also two large bedrooms with full bathrooms attached for women with children. On the first floor is the common area with a TV, the kitchen and dining room and the counseling offices. Staff members are in charge of designing menus and meals are prepared and served by residents, based on a rotating schedule. A salad bar is available at lunch and dinner.
Situated on 115 acres just north of Watertown, The Farm offers a holistic rehabilitative environment for young men between the ages of 16 and 20. This is a 25-bed facility with dormitory accommodations; four clients share each room with two YMCA style showers and restroom facilities on each floor. Clients eat three basic meals a day in the dining hall and are responsible for cleanup and chores.
Treatment and Staff
Length of stay in the women’s program varies, but is typically six to 12 months. Residents wake up at 6:15 am and have until 7 to clean their rooms and dress. Breakfast is at 7:15 am and morning meditation is at 8 am. All residents are assigned house chores which must be completed by 10:30 am Monday through Friday. Group therapy starts at 11 am and topics include spirituality, grief, inner child work, self-love and self-assertion, healing from shame, addiction studies, stress reduction and relapse prevention. Eligible women also attend parenting classes. Residents with co-occurring disorders attend specific groups appropriate for their diagnosis including anxiety and depression, stress management and CBT. Individual therapy is scheduled on a per client basis, but usually takes place once per week.
Monday night is a house group meeting where women not only share on current topics, but all business and appointments for the week are discussed and scheduled by the staff. All visiting requests are made during this time and answers to visiting requests are given at the next in-house meeting. On-site 12-step meetings are held twice a week. After 90 days, clients may attend outside meetings. Family group and visiting are held on the first and third Saturday of each month from noon to 4 pm. All visitors must first attend an orientation facilitated by the counseling staff.
Credo Community Center’s adolescent program has been in place since 1973, offering group and individual therapy in addition to the lessons in responsibility and nurturing that caring for the farm animals provides. Clients participate in daily chores to maintain the cleanliness of the facility, which includes caring for the animals, gardening, snow removal and lawn care. Residents remain at The Farm for six to eight months, engaging in at least two individual therapy sessions and 40 hours of active treatment per week. The Farm also provides assessment and treatment for co-occurring disorders, tailoring therapy to offer dual diagnosis support. Residents participate in weekly relapse prevention classes, smoking cessation education, vocational skills and GED classes. In addition, 12-step meetings are held on site one night per week. Visitation and family group is held on the first and third Sunday of every month and all parents and guardians are required to attend.
Techs and house managers are on site 24/7 in both programs. All clients have a caseworker who oversees court dates, doctor’s appointments and family visits. In addition, CASACs facilitate all group and individual therapy sessions. Though detox is not one of Credo’s services, clients on medication see a psychiatrist once per month and have access to medical care through their caseworker. The sum total of these staff members makes for a staff-to-client ratio at The Farm of one-to-five and, for the women’s facility, it is closer to one-to-seven.
As an alternative part of their therapy, clients on The Farm are responsible for goats, pigs, horses, chickens, a dog and a cat.
In the women’s residential program, a licensed childcare worker watches the pre-school kids while the mothers are in group. Once clients reach 90 days, they can go on outings with their children to attractions including picnics, movies, libraries, museums and parks, all with the approval of their caseworkers and often accompanied by the women without children.
As a continuation of care for residential clients, or for those who don’t require round-the-clock supervision, Credo Community Center also offers outpatient treatment services for adults and adolescents. There are two men’s halfway houses in Watertown, each with the capacity for 15 clients, the primary goal being to provide a supportive living environment for men in the outpatient program. Halfway house clients participate in recreational therapy, which includes volleyball, fishing, golfing, softball and picnic outings.
Credo Community Center offers extended residential treatment programs based on group therapy, individual counseling and the 12 steps. What makes these programs stand out, beyond the fact that they offer support well into the first year of sobriety, is that women are able to bring their children into treatment and the young men have the opportunity to live and work on a farm, caring for livestock. The programs are small in size, the staff-to-client ratios are manageable, and the treatment is structured to include those suffering from co-occurring disorders.
Credo Community Center
595 West Main St
Watertown, NY 13601
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