Youth in Pioneer's Snohomish Residential Programs Graduate

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Pioneer Human Services' staff is very proud of two youths in the Snohomish Youth Residential Programs who recently graduated from high school. This is a huge success since it is estimated that only 2-5 percent of foster care youth and group home youth nationwide graduate from high school.

Pioneer operates three Snohomish residential youth homes for boys between the ages of 13 to 18 years-old who are struggling with emotional, behavioral and/or psychiatric problems. Residents may have demonstrated sexually aggressive or violent behavior in the Tamarack or Sequoia Houses, and in the Cypress House some youth are adjudicated sex offenders.

Our youth programs often serve boys who have cycled in and out of foster care homes or other treatment programs. Services that are provided in the residential programs include Behavioral Rehabilitation Services (BRS) therapy; counseling to help youth admit and take responsibility for actions; classes to examine aggression, learn empathy and adopt appropriate responses; and individual and group therapy.

JM’s Story
JM (pictured on top) arrived at the Tamarack House after several failed placements at other residential programs in Washington State that resulted in him getting notice and being removed from the various programs or homes.  When JM first arrived at Pioneer’s Tamarack House, he would consistently blame others for his actions, swear and yell at staff or residents. He also acted out by blaming others for his mistakes and then threatening staff that he was going to get them fired.  He was extremely despondent, intolerant of interruptions and highly competitive for attention. 

During his first year at Tamarack House and at Marysville Pilchuck High School, JM also had issues with boundaries and failing to complete school work. However, after becoming engaged in the Tamarack House programs, he started to change his behavior. Over the last several months while JM has been living at Tamarack House and attending the programs, he has worked hard to improve his behavior and has reduced his behavioral incident rates to almost zero.

JM’s main goal was to graduate from high school. He really started to get involved in the program and engaged in his studies at school by catching up on his work that was required if he wanted to graduate with his class and not be left behind. JM graduated from Marysville Pilchuck High School on June 16, 2016. He is currently taking college entrance exams and has started using the bus system. His behavior improvement and maturity have been instrumental in his success and the staff at Tamarack are very proud of him.

WJ’s Story
WJ (pictured on bottom) came to the Cypress House program after being removed from his family’s home. He was never in the Department of Social and Health Services –DSHS – before and it was a very difficult transition for the teenager to not be allowed to live at home.

Over the past several months of actively engaging in the Cypress House programs, WJ’s bad behavior and incident rates have greatly been reduced. He began to participating in the Cypress programs by increasing positive interactions with staff, and then followed up the behavior with other Cypress residents and continued it in high school after he was enrolled.

This hard work really paid off and WJ was able to graduate from Edmonds Woodway High School on June 18, 2016. He even attended his prom at the high school.

WJ is currently working towards acquiring independent living housing and has utilized his referral to YouthNet to help him complete admission paperwork for his enrollment at Edmonds Community College. The staff at Cypress House applauds WJ’s efforts as he has made great strides in improving his behavior. Everyone is excited for him as he seeks to further his education and pave out a path to a successful life.

Thursday, August 18, 2016