The average stay at The Barry Robinson Center lasts 4-6 months. Because we are only in our residents’ lives for a short amount of time, we strive to make every interaction a therapeutic moment.
The work we do begins before admission and extends well beyond a resident’s discharge date. Before a child enters our facility we make sure our program is the very best fit for that child. If it’s not, we can recommend other resources in the community.
From the first day of treatment, we are planning for the residents’ discharge back home to the family, community and school. We work to make sure that transition is smooth and that parents are ready. We also plan the next steps after a discharge and follow-up to make sure all of our residents continue to receive the support and resources they need.
Our campus, located on the border of Virginia Beach and Norfolk, is open and inviting. Children walk to and from school, meals and therapies and often stop to talk or play with a friend. They spend their days with our trained and compassionate staff, including teachers, unit managers and therapists, all of whom truly care about our residents and are focused on providing loving, compassionate care.
Residents stay in small dorms that are decorated just like a child’s bedroom, with colorful murals on the wall and cozy common areas where kids can hang out, watch TV, read a book, work on a project or have group therapy sessions. There are no uniforms or scrubs. Children bring their own clothes and their own bedding, just like home.
The relationships that grow between residents and staff are the engine that drives our entire treatment program. Residents also learn to relate to and respect other children. Many of our residents have similar backgrounds and understand those shared experiences in ways their peers can’t. By learning and building social skills, residents see each other as individuals, not objects.
We are cheerleaders for our residents, always encouraging them to do their best and to challenge themselves. We identify each child’s talents and give him or her every opportunity to learn new skills and succeed, no matter what success may look like in any given situation. Sometimes it could be something as simple as learning that a basketball game doesn’t have to lead to a fight. With every interaction, no matter how big or small, we show our residents that they can approach life differently.