Guide Home Program

Would you like to learn more about becoming a “Guide” to one of these teens in need? Contact Bill Neaves to learn more – (406) 541-1664 or bneaves@youthhomesmt.org

Program Description

The Guide Home Program of Youth Homes supports youth at home or places them in individual placements, one-on-one with an individual or family. These juveniles, coming out of the state’s correctional institutions, are supported in their effort to transition from successful institutional stays into productive, positive community lives. teen maleThis program is provided by a contract with the Montana Department of Corrections, Juvenile Correction Division. The program is offered statewide and Youth Homes contract with Youth Dynamics Incorporated (YDI), out of Billings to serve the eastern portion of the state.

Beliefs

Many of our young people, who wind up in our state correctional facilities, have made very poor choices and threatened the safety of others, property and most often themselves. These choices reflect more on their impulsive behavior and anger rather than a pure criminal mind. All are young enough to recover and find a positive direction if they have the support of caring adults. Many of these young people have found negative peers with whom to perform illegal acts and the idea of individual placements is to remove the youth from close opportunities to form peer relationships that will not support their hope for success. “Guide” is a name chosen to represent the guiding of Montana to find new land, new activities and new direction. Choosing a mentoring approach we are implementing best practices in assisting change in young people. The program is designed to support and hold the juvenile accountable. For each youth served we believe there is the opportunity for honest change to occur.

Placement Criteria

Youth are accepted based upon the following:

  • males and females are both accepted into this program
  • successfully completing a stay at Pine Hills Youth Correctional Facility for juvenile males and Riverside Youth Correctional Facility for juvenile females
  • or he or she may be on parole, having completed a stay at a state correctional facility, and in need of more support and/or placement
  • youth between the ages of 15 and 18 who are appropriate to an open setting in the community
  • they must be recommended by state institutional staff and accepted by Youth Homes Staff as appropriate to a Guide Home placement or Guide Services.

Application

Referrals are made by workers in the state correctional facilities when the youth is preparing to transition out and from the Juvenile Parole Officer when the youth is already in the community. In either case, we expect coordination of information between these two key individuals. A written application is required and those forms are available through the contact person below or here for download. The application is reviewed by our internal Placement Committee and is closely coordinated with the local parole officer. In most all cases we meet the youth through vision.net when we can talk directly and better determination the interest, goals and potential for the youth.

Program Structure

The Guide Home Program serves these young people in homes where they are placed in families who serve as parent, mentor and guide. The program also serves youngsters with Guide Services when the young person is placed back home with his or her birth family and we provide support to the family and guidance to the youth. These youngsters receive supported living (when out of their home), guidance, mentoring, counseling, life skills development, community resources, educational opportunity, relationships at a level they can accept and guidance.

We provide:

  • support from a qualified and specially trained case worker assigned to the case
  • consistency in the form of structure and approach
  • plans and services that must be derived from and coordinated with the programs they are emerging from, successfully, which are our state’s correctional institutions
  • living in a safe, stable environment and a family setting
  • orientation and training for the Guide Home parents
  • mentoring from the adults in their lives, as well as specially assigned and trained program mentors
  • continued treatment in the community through access to and the use of trained, specialized community therapists
  • individual therapy twice a month and more when necessary and appropriate
  • a highly coordinated system and structure of people and resources to aid in the transition back to positive community living through a team approach
  • access to community resources, including attendance at public schools, and involvement in community activities
  • tailored services based upon the unique needs and design of an individualized case plan

Staffing

Staff persons who are involved in this program from the Youth Homes include:

  • a service coordinator who facilitates all referrals, gets key information, works with the correction personnel and brings the youth into the program with a clear direction
  • a case manager who provides direct support and intervention in the case
  • A clinical supervisor who supervises and supports the case manager
  • The Director of Operations who works with the department to insure compliance and troubleshooting on any issues that arise in the contract and expectations

We also contract with community therapists and work closely with other contractors (Mountain Peaks and Parish Nurses) in this program.


For more information about admitting a youth into the Guide Home Program contact:

Kelsey Ashmore, Services Coordinator, Dan Fox Family Care Program
515 S. Reserve Street, Suite 5
PO Box 7616
Missoula, MT 59807
Phone: (406) 541-1663
Fax: (406) 543-0356
kashmore@youthhomesmt.org