Plumfield Academy utilizes a strengths-based team approach. Our clinical team includes our Director, Social Worker, LMFT, Psychiatrist, child care workers, residential supervisors and educational staff. Our team members work closely together to assess each student, clarify strengths and determine individual goals for each youth. Daily meetings with clinical staff, educational, and residential staff facilitate a cohesive and comprehensive understanding of each youth’s specific needs and progress.
All youth at Plumfield Academy require support in various areas of social and emotional development and therefore, receive individual counseling on a weekly basis. At times, clinical needs dictate more than one session per week. The role of individual therapy is to develop a strong working relationship, identify potentially effective interventions, and develop an understanding of the child with which to guide interventions throughout the program.
To support therapeutic efforts, the youth and his family, as well as the therapist, must communicate effectively and be open to the evolving pictures of the youth. Plumfield Academy’s family goals are three-fold. The first goal is to help the parents support the youth within our program; the second is to explore and improve dynamics between family members; and the third is to practice skills learned at Plumfield Academy in the home environment so that the youth’s gains can be realized and sustained in the family system.
For some youth in our program, small group counseling sessions complement the hourly and daily practice within the milieu. The focus of group therapy is on developing positive relationships through practicing skills such as giving and receiving honest feedback, and by exploring the themes of social relating and social responsibility. Plumfield Academy’s Adoption Competent therapist provides a safe group setting for children dealing with the specialized concerns of adopted youth.
Plumfield Academy’s Consulting Child Psychiatrist participates as a team member to support youth when positive change cannot be effected through the behavioral program alone. Data is obtained from the residential staff, the child, and the parent detailing both short and long-term effects of the medication on behavior, mood, attention, and sleep and eating habits. Effects are assessed continuously, and all team members are kept informed of medication and treatment plan changes.
We believe that our Residential Team Members are the heart of the Plumfield Academy Program. Our four to five member residential teams provide direct services and support to youth in our Residential Program. Twice daily meetings with the Plumfield Administrative and Clinical teams include consultation based on written reports on each child, and allow for continuous communication and collaboration centered on shared observations and ongoing assessments of youth in our program. Counselors are provided weekly intensive training, ongoing support, and strong incentives for a long-term commitment.