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Why are step down programs for teens sometimes necessary?

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step down programs for teens

Your child has accomplished something amazing and is on their way to graduate from a residential program or wilderness program. Now would be the time to start thinking about if a transitional program might be a good fit for her. Transitional programs such as Journey Home are a “step down” type of structure where girls and assigned female at birth aged 16-21 live in a residential setting and learn how to incorporate the skills learned in treatment programs with real world applications. 

Why are step down programs for teens needed? 

At treatment centers like Solstice, your child has learned new skills and coping mechanisms. Step down programs are a great way to put those into practice. It can be really overwhelming coming out of a treatment program and getting thrust into the “real” world right away. Step down programs for teens can help smooth that transition and teach your child new skills while they practices the ones they learned at Solstice. Things like going to school, applying for colleges, job and interviewing skills, are emphasized at Journey Home as well as budgeting, healthy eating and exercise.  All of these things are put in place for your child to not just survive but continue to thrive as they exits the Solstice program. 

Journey Home Program Model 

As a transitional program, Journey Home’s approach is centered on 5 core principles:

  • Personal Responsibility
  • Education
  • Healthy Living
  • Social Integration
  • Life skills 

As your child progresses through the program, Journey Home therapists will work with their to come up with a personalized plan to facilitate their learning and to practice skills relating to each of the principles. 

Is a step down program another residential treatment type of program? What’s the difference? 

At programs like Journey Home your child will have the opportunity to build trusting relationships with peers and staff. Once that trust is built and depending on their personalized plan they will be able to: 

  • go out into the community
  • have access to their personal phone 
  • practice making friends and connections outside of program
  • have job and volunteer
  • Attend school or vocational classes
  • Participate in community events and gatherings 
  • Self monitor screen time 

The support your child will receive is also different. At programs like Journey Home direct care staff take a more hands off approach. While they are present every day and help in holding your child accountable to program expectations, they also are able to step back some and let your child take the lead in facilitating their goals. All in all, step down programs are a great way to ease the transition from a residential treatment program back into a society where your child can thrive.