Additional services provided by The Barry Robinson Center include:
School is traditionally one of the most stressful areas for children and teens with behavioral issues. At The Barry Robinson Center, we have a fully accredited K-12 school. Some of our teachers are special education endorsed, and most hold licensure in the content areas they teach. Our goal is to give residents a new outlook on school while they work toward their individual treatment goals.
Small Classes, Big Results
Our educational model blends with our holistic approach to treatment. With a small class size and a 4:1 ratio of staff to students, we customize each child’s instructional program and implement one of four distinct models to best meet each resident’s educational needs. These models are:
Teachers at BRC follow the same academic standards as public schools. They gauge students’ motivations and attitudes and find ways to help them succeed in their academic work. We also communicate with each resident’s parents and home school teachers to understand what issues the child faced in the classroom.
Residents take part in a traditional school day, year-round. We make every effort to keep them on track with their classmates at their home schools. Through rigorous instruction and attention to their individual needs, our Education team members help ensure our residents remain engaged and continue to make academic progress.
Our teachers also work together with clinical and residential staff to provide a 360-degree treatment plan. They collaborate to solve problems and seek new and innovative ways to connect children and knowledge. Forming those bridges among the various treatment modalities makes BRC such a special place. No matter what activity a resident is doing, it is connected to his or her treatment and academic progress.
Treatment at The Barry Robinson Center encompasses the whole child – mind, body and soul. We’re an organization rooted in Catholic values, and we offer voluntary opportunities for all residents to explore issues of faith, ethics and morality, regardless of religious affiliation.
Some research studies show that our food choices can affect our mental wellness and how we respond to stress and everyday life. The connection is also clear between good nutrition and good physical health.
That’s why nutrition is part of our commitment to delivering the very best treatment for our residents. We’re one of the few residential treatment facilities with a full time registered dietitian on staff. Paula Livernois, R.D., oversees every aspect of our dietary program, making sure the food we serve meets the individual dietary needs of each resident. She also provides nutrition education for residents to help them achieve and maintain good health.
Our cafeteria serves three meals and two snacks a day. Menus rotate on a monthly basis, with a new meal each week. Our registered dietitian screens all snacks and can provide caution alerts for kids with food allergies. The Center’s cafeteria organization ensures that residents with special diets or food allergies receive the food they need without feeling self-conscious or excluded.
From gluten-free to low-calorie, our dietary team can customize a meal plan based on each resident’s specific needs. Children who are overweight can benefit from our Healthy Lifestyle program. We closely monitor a child’s BMI throughout treatment, and by changing the diet can often promote weight loss. Kids who are not getting adequate nutrition receive additional portions as needed to meet daily calorie goals, and we can provide nutritional supplements. We can also customize meals according to the resident's medication regimen.
By encouraging residents to “think like a chemist,” we teach them about food science and how to combine healthy foods for a diet rich in vitamins and minerals. We also teach healthy portion sizes.
We offer group sessions for residents who want to meet and discuss their feelings about their bodies and self-image. Our registered dietitian talks about proper nutrition and how to shop for the right foods. We nurture residents’ self-esteem so they can feel comfortable in their bodies and know they are making the right choices when it comes to exercise and eating a balanced diet.
Residents celebrate special events, such as birthdays and holidays, with others in the cafeteria. Our kitchen staff can also prepare cupcakes to celebrate the day a resident is discharged from treatment.
As part of our military-connected culture, several members of our dietary team are military veterans with a combined 80 years’ experience of preparing meals for large groups.
We use every aspect of the dining experience to help kids grow and develop during their time with us. Gathering around a table for a meal with dorm mates helps residents learn social skills and table manners. Residents who have earned the privilege to work on campus can be assigned to help out in the cafeteria by cleaning tables. All residents learn the importance of sanitation and cleaning up after themselves.
At The Barry Robinson Center, we are intentional about making sure every activity has a therapeutic component. Older residents have the ability to work on campus in a student work experience program. Residents may be able to help with younger students and work in other departments. Taking on a leadership role can boost a resident’s self-esteem and gives the younger children a role model to look up to.
Another special activity is gardening. Working in a garden offers many benefits, both mental and physical. Tending a garden can help mood and reduce anxiety. Children and teens can also gain a sense of responsibility by caring for plants, as well as develop a better understanding of the natural world around them. Under the direction of teachers, our residents help with planting, weeding and harvesting. The fruits and vegetables of their labor often end up in the cafeteria, providing an opportunity for residents to see plants’ life cycle and think in broader terms about where their food comes from.
We approach all of our interactions and activities with respect and compassion. Our staff members genuinely want to see our residents succeed in the classroom and in life.