VisionQuest is a national network of residential mental health, substance abuse and foster care facilities that have been providing support and guidance for boys and girls between the ages of 12 and 21 for over 40 years. VisionQuest’s founder, Bob Burton, saw that most methods for behavioral intervention during the 1960s and 1970s were under-serving a diverse group of at-risk youth requiring support and intervention. He began working with Crow Indians in Montana as a VISTA volunteer and imagined new ways to help troubled youth.
In 1973, VisionQuest began its first program in Arizona with wilderness components and chemical dependency treatment. Within three years, the program blossomed and multiplied, and now has outposts in Arizona, Maryland, Florida, Delaware, Pennsylvania and Texas. All treatment programs combine evidence-based methods of treatment with traditional Native American practices to treat clients mentally, emotionally and spiritually. Lee Prep Philadelphia is a residential facility for boys and girls who need chemical dependency treatment alongside academic instruction and life skill development.
Accommodations and Food
Lee Prep Philadelphia offers 24 beds for both girls and boys. Two wards with six bedrooms each keep clients separated. Each hall has six bedrooms with two clients per room. Rooms are furnished with twin beds and provide storage areas for personal belongings. Linens are provided, but clients must bring their own toiletries. The building features a large cafeteria space where meals are served. Food is healthy and typical American-fare and served family style. Sugar is limited and caffeine other than soda is not available.
The campus also has outdoor space for recreational activities in addition to classrooms and an area for group sessions. Clients are typically monitored at all times by the staff.
Treatment and Staff
Before admission, all clients are brought in for an evaluation. The clinical team guides students through an adapted school program while also providing counseling. The team is headed by a board-certified Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist. Practitioners utilize a range of methods including behavior modification and their own “Sanctuary Model.” Average length of time is six months to beyond a school year. LPP utilizes evidence-based practices as well as a trauma-informed care called “The Sanctuary Model.” Treatment aims to prepare clients to return home and become productive members of their community and includes anger management therapy implemented as Aggression Replacement Training (ART). Psychoeducation is also incorporated to help clients look objectively at their lives. Life skills development, community service work and education make up the majority of each day’s activities. Clients are treated for their behavioral issues, chemical dependency and co-occurring disorders. The Sanctuary Model addresses behaviors and provides clients with a safe space to fully express themselves and identify root causes.
Residents attend group therapy throughout the week as well as individual therapy utilizing CBT techniques. Social and life skills are developed as well as relapse prevention skills if the client has chemical dependency issues.
LPP works to prepare clients for higher education or entry to the work force. Education is individualized and provided for by education professionals.
Lee Prep Pennsylvania provides a safe environment for at-risk youth to recover while they maintain their scholastic requirements. Chemical dependency treatment, life skills, community service and special treatment techniques help residents to feel prepared for the real world. Using a wide range of treatment methods, including those developed in-house, this is a solid program that integrates the intellectual, cognitive and emotional development of young boys and girls.
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