"Living It Up" is designed to serve male and female youth/teenagers age 10-17. Treatment is provided in a 28 bed safe, “no touch,” no restraint,” supportive environment where residents have the opportunity to learn skills to become healthy, responsible citizens.
The Living It Up experience is a mind-body-spirit program. This program combines individual, family and group therapy sessions, fitness, nutrition, relaxation, independent living skills and lessons in cultural diversity in an effort to prepare them for a healthy life and becoming a responsible citizen. The program emphasizes personal accountability and teaches new approaches to important life issues that all clients face. Residents spend time exercising, learning about proper nutrition and learning about new methods of relaxation through meditation and yoga.
Diverse, innovative programs are designed to help children assess their level of independence and learn how to take responsibility for their future by thinking and planning ahead. Residents have the opportunity to learn how to manage their employment, behavior, health, budget, needs and planning for the future. A key component of this program is goal setting where the residents set clear goals for their future and work on learning the steps to see their goals to the finish line.
Meals are high quality and nutritionally sound. The focus is on whole grains, low fat foods and healthy portion sizes. There are no diets. Menus are made by experienced employees and supervised by a registered dietitian.
Living It Up is staffed with a minimum of one staff to every six children, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Crisis intervention services provided by a licensed therapist and/or a psychiatric professional is available 24 hours a day.
Other on-site services include
- supervised family visitation, diagnostic assessments,
- case management,
- psychiatric services,
- individual/family/group therapy,
- substance abuse services, and
- on-site school.
Approximate length of the program is 4-8 months with variations in length of stay based on level of client participation and progress in treatment as well as individual needs.
Gateway Children Services also provides emergency shelter care with therapeutic treatment services. Emergency shelter services can be utilized by referring agencies such as Family/District courts, Court Designated Worker program, Alternative To Detention, Department of Juvenile Justice, Department of Community Based Services for children requiring temporary housing such as runaways and other status offenders.
When a child is placed at Gateway Children’s Services, the following items are required:
- Medications child is currently taking and/or prescriptions for them
- Medical card or insurance card copy
- Copy of child’s most recent physical exam
- Needs Assessment Form (886) if committed to the state
- Valid Payment Agreement (114)
- Commitment Order
- Immunization Record
- Birth Certificate copy
- Social Security card copy
- Case Plan
- Consent Form (our form-includes consent for photograph, video, audio tape, consent for recreation, and medical consent)
- Signed Contact sheet (our form) listing name and phone #’s of parent or legal guardian with whom child may have phone contact and visits.
- Also, be sure to inform us on this sheet of any mail restrictions to be enforced.
- While here at Gateway, clients will be assigned a specific day/time of the week referred to as “All About You Time”.
During this time, the child will have access to the following:
- Clinical Therapy
- Case Management
- Business Calls – to be made to social workers, lawyers, CDW’s, or DJJ workers
- While your child is placed at Gateway Children's Services, you will be able to visit, unless the placing agency has restricted visitation for the child. While your child is on Orientation, visits are not permitted.
- Orientation usually lasts about 1 week, or longer if there are behavioral issues.
- When your child reaches Level 1 of the program, he or she will be permitted to have 1 visit per week.
- All visits are on Saturdays, with limited exceptions, and are scheduled in 30 minute intervals.
- Only parents or legal guardians may visit. No one else will be permitted to enter the building without prior approval.
- You must call the Case Manager/Counselor or our Intake Coordinator at some point between Wednesday 8:00am and Friday 4:00pm to schedule a visit for the following Saturday.
- You must bring your ID to every visit. Please do not bring anything else into the building, no purses, bags, food, etc.
- You may bring in some items needed by your child that they are permitted to have. Please contact their Case Manager/Counselor for further details.
- If you bring items for your child to the visit, they must be handed to a staff member, not your child. The items will be placed in the child’s Personal Inventory and will be available to them the following week.
- You must read and sign “Rules for Visits” on your first visit.
- No visitor will be allowed inside the building if suspected of being under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- Visits are usually scheduled “back to back”, leaving very little time between, so it is very important to be on time. The number of minutes that you are late will be minutes taken away from your visit.
- All visits are monitored by video camera and staff.
Personal phone calls are also permitted to parents or legal guardians only, unless restricted by the placing agency. Upon intake into the program your child will be permitted to make an “intake call” letting you know that he/she is here. After that, the number of personal calls available to your child is based on their Level in the program. Please contact the Case Manager for further details.
- Girls are allowed to place personal calls on Sundays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays typically between 4:30pm and 9:00pm.
- Boys are allowed to place personal calls on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, typically between 4:30pm and 9:00pm.
ITEMS THAT GATEWAY CHILDREN'S SERVICES ARE REQUIRED TO RECEIVE FROM PARENTS / LEGAL GUARDIANS ARE AS FOLLOWS:
- Medications child is currently taking
- Birth Certificate
- Copy Social Security Card
- Copy Signed Consent Forms
- Immunization Record
- Medical Card or Insurance Card CopyIt is extremely important that we receive a copy of your child’s insurance cards, in the event that medical care is required.
Questions regarding your child’s case, progress in the program, and eligibility for passes should be directed to the Case Manager.
The treatment staff consists of an experienced
- Licensed Therapist/Treatment Supervisor
- Residential Programs Manager
- Intake Coordinator,
- Case Managers and
- Youth Workers.
Additionally the program contracts for physician services and Psychiatric services. Individual and group counseling sessions are planned and provided by trained clinical staff under the supervision of the Treatment Supervisor.
Additionally, counseling with families and consultation with children’s social workers are included in our program. Treatment services include but are not limited to: Comprehensive Assessment, Psycho-educational groups, Goal achievement groups, Individual sessions, Stress Management groups, Anger Management groups, Substance Abuse groups, Group Living and Life Skills groups to name a few.
The recreation program at Gateway Children’s Services is designed to provide the clients with the opportunity to learn positive activities. Gateway clients are encouraged to implement these activities in their daily routine upon leaving the facility. By offering a variety of activities such as basketball, football, cornhole, arts and crafts, and a daily fitness program, the hope is to strengthen clients self esteem, confidence, self awareness, and overall feeling of self worth.
Gateway fitness program consists of aerobic training and strength training.
Aerobic training is achieved through a variety of modes in exercise such as running, stationary bikes, elliptical machines, dancing, and treadmills. The strength training is based on working with free weights and resistance machines.
Recreation outings are scheduled on a weekly basis and are planned to develop clients community awareness and help clients discover new positive activities to enhance their life after leaving treatment. Outings include trips to the park, ballpark, library, church, gym, airport, movies, bowling, pumpkin farm, factory tours and cookouts to name a few.
Guest speakers have visited the program to share positive life experiences and educational lessons. Recent speakers have been employees from the local health department speaking on health and fitness and Survivor star Roger Bingham sharing experiences from the Outback.
We provide on-site educational services in partnership with the Montgomery County School System. Children enrolled in our on-site school are not counted absent from their home school. Certified teachers & classroom aides provide our students the support and resources they need to succeed. We provide 210 instructional days per year, a 3-week summer school session & 1-week summer camp. Upon admission client’s educational needs are assessed & an individual educational plan is developed. Our classroom is equipped with individual computer stations, wireless technology, iPods, and smart boards. Educational services include regular instruction, special education services or gifted/talented, Read 180, AGS Text, Apex, Study Island, PLAN, EXPLORE, remedial/tutoring instruction, programs to help non readers, credit recovery, GED/ACT preparation/pre-testing and providing transportation for client’s to testing sites. Often some of clients graduate from high school while at our facility and begin taking college classes on-line.
Boys and girls, ages 10 – 17, are eligible for the program. Clients must be able to participate in their own self-care, and able to function in a residential treatment facility, group setting and school environment. Client referrals are accepted from DCBS, Family/District Court by court order, Department for Juvenile Justice, and CDW/ATD Workers. Weekend and after hours referrals are accepted by asking for the on-call worker.
Type of facility: Licensed Residential Treatment Facility & Emergency Shelter w/ Treatment
Licensed Treatment: Yes
Clients: Male & Females, 10-17 years of age
Year Founded: 1981
Capacity: 28 (14 Male Beds, 14 Female Beds)
Average Length of Stay: 4-8 Months depending on the child’s progress
Number of Employees: 35
Accredited: Council On Accreditation
For Admissions Contact:
Jessica Collins, Director of Residential Services 859-498-9892 Ext: 116
After 5:00pm ask to speak with on-call staff person
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
When are clients allowed personal calls?
The number of client calls per week is determined by the client’s level in the GCS residential program and all personal contacts must be approved by the placing agency/legal guardian. Male clients have phone calls on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Friday. Female clients have calls on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays. Extra calls are made on Saturdays. Below is the number of call allowed per level:
- Orientation: Intake Call, 1 Personal Call
- Level 1: 2 Personal Calls
- Level 2: 2 Personal Calls
- Level 3: 3 Personal Calls
- Level 4: 4 Personal Calls
- Level 5 and Up: 5 Personal Calls
Clients may redeem their weekly bonus points for an extra personal call on any level if they chose to do so. All phone calls are monitored by GCS staff for appropriateness and call logs are reviewed by the case manager daily.
Are clients allowed to send and receive letters?
Yes. Clients are allowed to send and receive letters to/from anyone unless an individual is specifically prohibited by the placing agency or legal guardian. All mail (outing and incoming) is monitored by the Intake Coordinator for appropriateness. Clients are provided stamps by GCS based on the client’s level in the GCS residential program as outlined below:
- Orientation: 1 Stamps
- Level 1: 2 Stamps
- Level 2: 2 Stamps
- Level 3: 3 Stamps
- Level 4: 4 Stamps
- Level 5: 5 Stamps
- Level 6: 6 Stamps
Am I allowed to send pictures to my youth?
Yes. Parents, legal guardians, family members, etc. are encouraged to send family pictures to their youth. All pictures will be reviewed by the Intake Coordinator for appropriateness. Youth placed through DCBS will be provided with a lifebook to display these pictures in to assist in maintaining attachment with family. County and ATD clients can receive a lifebook by redeeming their weekly bonus points.
Are clients allowed on-site visits?
Yes. Per the GCS visitation policy, clients are not eligible for an on-site visit their first weekend at GCS but are eligible for one on-site visit every weekend afterwards. If a client’s parents and/or legal guardians are separated, the client will be allowed one visit a weekend with each parent and/or guardian. Visits are not denied as a form of punishment. All visitors must be approved by the placing agency/legal guardian. For additional information on visits, rules, and scheduling visits, please refer to the Rules and Guidelines for Visits.
Are clients allowed off-site passes?
Yes. Per GSC policy clients are eligible for passes based on the client’s level in the GCS program. Off-site passes begin when a client is on level 2 and they are eligible for two 8 hour passes. If transportation is a problem for the parent/legal guardian, these two passes can be combined into one overnight pass. On level 3 and up, clients are eligible for 2 weekend passes per level. All off-site passes must be approved by the placing agency and the placing agency has final discretion on the frequency, amount and length of off-site passes.
Can I participate in my youth’s treatment at GCS?
Yes. Parents, legal guardians, and family members are encouraged to be a part of their youth’s treatment at GCS. The GCS Treatment Team staff meets every Tuesday morning. If a parent, legal guardian or family member would like to participate, please contact the GCS case manager or Intake Coordinator. Parents, legal guardians, and/or family members will also be contacted by the GCS case manager to arrange their participation in establishing a client’s comprehensive treatment plan once the client has been in the program 21 days. Participation in these meetings can take place in person or via phone calls, Skype, or email. Parents, legal guardians, and family members are also encouraged to contact GCS if they have any questions, concerns, or want a progress update.
Will GCS ever restrain my youth?
No. GCS is a no touch, no restraint treatment program. GCS staff will never touch any clients and physical contact between clients is prohibited as well. All GCS employees are trained in Life Space Crisis Intervention de-escalation techniques. These techniques equip staff to verbally de-escalate client situations so that physical restraints are not needed.