Lighthouse is a co-ed residential treatment program designed for adolescent boys and girls ages 12 to 18 demonstrating an inability to adjust and progress in a family setting, therapeutic treatment home, outpatient counseling or other structured treatment placement. Young people participating in the Lighthouse program need the environment of the facility to develop the social, behavioral and coping skills necessary to live in the community.
Lighthouse is a highly structured program providing person-centered individual, group and family-based treatment. The program also provides behavior modification, education, and pro-social recreational opportunities to increase positive behavior, improve functioning and well-being, and facilitate a safe return to a stable living arrangement in the community.
Many of the young people participating in the Lighthouse program have participated in less restrictive services but have not been able to remain safe in their homes and/or communities. Young people participating in Lighthouse often return to their homes with community-based supports in place to ensure continued success. Young people who have completed a higher level of care and whose needs exceed successful placement in the community/ home setting also meet admission criteria for the Lighthouse Program.
The Lighthouse Program provides services 24-7. Staff is on-site and available for support during day and night hours. A Juneau School District Teacher and an aide provide educational services in an on-site classroom.
The program is strength-based and uses the Teaching Family Model. Treatment is provided by a multidisciplinary team. The youth will learn and practice a variety of social skills including communication, problem-solving, conflict-resolution, self-regulation and anger management. The program uses the Teaching Family Motivation System where youth earn points for using their skills. Points are used to access special privileges and advance through systems towards graduation. The use of points as an external motivator is faded out toward the end of treatment when youth can use social skills and self-regulation skills more independently and have developed internal motivators for maintaining and continuing positive changes.
Strong family involvement is essential to the youth’s progress in the program and participation in family therapy is expected. Regular family visiting hours are part of the program schedule. Out-of-town families are invited to visit (Medicaid travel is arranged by the case manager every 90 days). Staff updates families and guardians weekly about the youth’s progress.
The young person must have an assessment completed by one of the following, recommending residential treatment:
A psychiatrist with an MD or DO
An independently licensed psychologist
An independently licensed professional counselor, marriage and family therapist, or clinical social worker
If the family is paying for services through Medicaid or other insurance, prior authorization for services is required. JYS completes this authorization request following assessment. As authorizations expire, continued stay authorization is required approximately every six weeks. If an assessment is not available, JYS can provide one.
Length of Stay
Youths participating in Lighthouse typically meet their treatment goals within 6 to 9 months. In some instances, youths may have multiple diagnoses due to placement in several facilities, or may have been in such a crisis that a true diagnosis was difficult to ascertain. In these instances, the youths can continue treatment in Lighthouse once a clear diagnostic picture is obtained, however, some may move to a different level of care if they are unable to stabilize.
The therapeutic services provided at Lighthouse include:
Determination of an accurate diagnosis.
Behavioral stabilization and management.
Comprehensive individual treatment planning focused on continued care and the young person’s long-term needs.
Individual, family and group therapy.
Maintenance and improvement of the young person’s educational progress and development of an Individualized Education Program for each young person (coordinating with the school IEP team as needed).
Developing independent living skills.
Developing a plan for subsequent placement.
The program operates at a staff-to-client ratio of 1:4 during the day and 1:8 at night. Additional staff are present when needed. Each youth is assigned to a case manager and a master’s level clinician.
All staff having contact with youths in Lighthouse are at least 21 years old and can be male or female. All Lighthouse staff have been provided with the following training:
First aid and CPR
Teaching Family pre-service workshop and ongoing training
De-escalation and crisis intervention including nationally recognized de-escalation techniques
Clinical issues such as FASD, trauma, substance abuse, etc.
Food handler certification
Staff are required to obtain a minimum of 15 hours of job-related training on an annual basis.
Behavioral health associates ensure supervision during the day and night hours. They provide skill-building activities and behavioral management support for youths. The program uses the Teaching Family Model. Youth earn positive points and privileges, such as participating in community outings, when they use their skills and engage in appropriate behaviors. Alternatively, they earn negative points and lose privileges when they engage in inappropriate behaviors.
All youth develop a safety plan upon admission to the program which is updated at least every 30 days.
Clinical services include a comprehensive behavioral health assessment, individual therapy, group therapy and family therapy, with and without the youth.
Psychiatric assessments and medication management are provided by a JYS-contracted psychiatrist.
Professional case managers coordinate medical and educational services as well as aftercare planning. The case managers ensure that the youth’s treatment team is informed about the treatment progress. A treatment team meeting is facilitated every 30 to 90 days to update the treatment plan.
Lighthouse Services are funded by Medicaid, private insurance and generous grants from the State of Alaska.