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Philosophy of Care

philosophy 1Saint Vincent’s serves children and families requiring assistance in coping with serious emotional and behavioral challenges, and provides a broad array of therapeutic and educational services within the context of family-centered practice. We have a particular expertise in treating children impacted by trauma, and therefore strive to create a sense of safety within all aspects of care. Saint Vincent’s Philosophy of Care guides our service delivery and staff development efforts and reflects our Mission and Core Values. Safety, stabilization, and permanence are the ultimate goals of our services. Care is provided with compassion, respect, and the highest standards of professional and ethical practice, including the pursuit of culturally sensitive care for all we serve. Our practices reflect the temporary nature of the assistance we provide but are driven by hope that we can make a lifetime of difference.

We embrace the primacy of family in its broadest terms.philosophy 2

We believe that caring well for children, including those we serve in out-of- home care, requires reverence for the role of family in every person’s life. We define family broadly to include the various adults in addition to biological parents who may share in the caretaking, nurturance, and socialization of a child. Through family-centered practice, by which we find multiple ways of engaging family as partners in the treatment and education process, we strive to contribute to the preservation, restoration, or creation of healthy and lasting relationships.

We promote resilience by building on strengths and resources.

We promote the resilience of children and families by identifying, acknowledging, and building upon their unique strengths. We also assist children and families to build new skills and competencies that will empower them to safely and effectively negotiate various life challenges, in order to support a more self-directed future. We place a high value on creating normalizing experiences for children and families and to help them generalize new skills to a broad spectrum of settings, including home, school, peer groups, and the broader community.

We view the child and family holistically and help to strengthen positive connections.

We assess and respond to the needs of those we serve by maintaining a holistic perspective and considering the role of culture and the various social networks within which each child and family functions (e.g. family, school, places of worship, community at large). We assist children and families to strengthen the positive connections within each of these networks, helping them to build a stronger foundation of support and resilience as they manage the multiple transitions and stressors they are likely to encounter. As a faith-based agency, Saint Vincent’s provides numerous and varied opportunities to nurture the spiritual development of the children we serve.

We collaborate and advocate with community partners to integrate care.

We strive to make creative connections with a broad array of community partners and state agencies in order to most effectively meet the specific needs of each child and family. Coordinating our services with those provided by other others supports a holistic and integrated approach to service planning and assists the child and family in remaining connected to their community. Seamless coordination of care also supports the child and family when they may be most vulnerable- when they are transitioning from provider to provider and placement to placement as they move through various systems of care.

We provide trauma-informed care organized around the building of skills and competencies in a variety of developmental and functional areas.

We treat and educate children with a wide array of emotional, behavioral, and learning profiles but always focus on the development of new skills, building on the child and family’s strengths as the basis for positive change. Our service delivery is guided by best practice standards regarding the development of resilience in children and families; the treatment of childhood trauma; special education principles; positive youth development; and wrap-around family support models. Behavioral support is based on a relational model which encourages a deeper understanding of self and each person’s unique way of relating to others. Treatment environments are designed to be highly engaging with numerous and varied opportunities for children to have their talents recognized and to learn new skills. Each of our residential and group care programs offers a comprehensive treatment and learning environment, with seamless integration of a variety of therapeutic services. In all of our programs, services are guided by an interdisciplinary team, including the availability of child care, clinical, medical, and educational professionals to assist the child in achieving normal developmental tasks.

We continuously evaluate and adapt our services.

Saint Vincent’s continuously evaluates its services by gathering and reviewing data and feedback from a variety of sources, most importantly from the children and families we serve. As we support children and families to make significant investment in the change process, we hold ourselves accountable for providing high quality services that are effective and measurable. We are committed to an environment of continuous quality improvement as well as action learning as we partner with other entities to offer creative new services to better meet the needs of our community. Staff development is a key to providing stellar services, and Saint Vincent’s is strongly committed to investing in the growth and education in best practice of our staff in order to best serve the children and families in our care.