George Junior Republic Identity Magazine Fall 2014

February 2, 2015  |  By  | 

FROM THE DESK OF RICK LOSASSO: Nationwide critics of residential treatment continue to advocate for the elimination of out-of-home care. They claim residential care exposes youth to violence and abuse, poor education, minimal mental health services, high recidivism, and weakens families. One national organization went so far as to summarize that out- of-home care is dangerous, ineffective, unnecessary, wasteful, and inadequate. While some of their research does support these positions, there was absolutely no attempt made to differentiate between inefficient, poorly operated organizations and high quality out-of- home care. High quality residential care is an absolute necessity in the continuum of care. It is unrealistic to believe that every at- risk youth can be treated in community-based programs. While we certainly advocate youth being cared for in the least restrictive environment, the reality is, in spite of exhaustive efforts, many youth are unable to have their needs met in a family based or community setting. Virtually every youth at George Junior Republic has failed in multiple prior interventions. The majority of those services were provided in their own home, school, or community. Once this cycle of failure and inconsistency develops, the youth and families become desperate for quality care that is safe, effective, therapeutic, and produces positive outcomes. George Junior Republic is not all things for every youth, but offers a vast array of high quality residential services that have proven extremely effective for thousands entrusted to our care. Along with a 500 acre campus, a state-of-the-art physical plant, family style living arrangements, highly educated and trained staff, a clear and consistent model of care, fully accredited academic and vocational education, and quality mental health services, George Junior Republic is making a difference each day in the lives of at-risk youth. Since 1909, we have put youth in a position to be successful in life. Our mission continues in spite of the fact that some advocate against residential care. Make no mistake, when appropriate youth are placed in high quality residential programs, results and outcomes will be extremely positive. Richard L. Losasso Chief Executive Ofcer