Program Helps Youth Overcome Behavioral Issues and Reach Goal

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Pioneer Human Services’ Snohomish Youth Residential Homes are comprised of three residential homes that serve boys between the ages of 13 to 18 years-old who are struggling with severe emotional, behavioral and/or psychiatric problems. The Tamarack House serves adjudicated boys that have demonstrated sexually aggressive and/or violent behavior. The work is difficult but very rewarding. (Pictured: Lindsey McFerran, program supervisor - left; and Chris Glans, mental health therapist - right)

Lindsey McFerran, program supervisor, shared that even the smallest behavior improvement is considered a great success. Back in February 2019, Ned came to the Tamarack House from an out-of-state placement in Idaho. Ned had a history of assaultive and aggressive behavior towards peers and staff.

Lindsey shared, “When Ned came to Tamarack, I had a conversation with him about his situation, his case history and his goals. Ned listened and expressed that his hope was to one day live with his grandparents in Moses Lake. I shared with Ned that the Tamarack House would be a training ground for him to develop the skills needed to manage his aggression so his hope could become a reality.”

Ned’s aggressive behavior needed to be addressed and managed before he could achieve permanency in a home. Lindsey and the Tamarack staff really worked on his outbursts and aggressive tendencies. After a few months, Ned’s aggression towards other residents at the Tamarack and peers decreased significantly and he began really engaging with his mental health therapist, Chris Glans.

It was at this point that Ned was allowed to begin to have unsupervised visits with his grandparents. During those visits, Chris and Lindsey would schedule meetings with his grandparents to discuss the skills Ned had been working on at Tamarack and talk about his feelings and progress.

The next step was having Ned accompany his grandparents on a 16-day vacation. That really helped to build the bond with his grandparents and give Ned a sense of belonging. The time Ned spent with his grandparents on vacation also provided additional evidence that he was now capable of making the transition to live with them on a permanent basis.

“I am so happy to report that at the end of last summer, Ned transitioned to live with his grandparents in Moses Lake permanently and he moved in just in time to start high school. We are so proud of him and the efforts he made to live back with family. We celebrated it because his success made everything we do worth it,” shared Lindsey.