The Excelsior Continuum of Residential and Community Based Services is designed to help adolescent girls with complex behavioral health challenges. Excelsior takes a comprehensive approach that utilizes evidence-based therapies and psychiatric services to identify and address the unique needs of the child and family. The Continuum is designed to provide a range of services with three key goals: 1) preempt the need for long term care through early and short-term interventions; 2) create a smooth transition between various levels of care; 3) provide highly structured long-term care if needed.
The Six Programs of Excelsior’s Continuum
The Excelsior Continuum is comprised of the six care options described below. Ideally, at-risk girls are engaged through preemptive programs that reach into schools and communities to address behavioral health challenges early. From there the Continuum offers three care options that provide short, focused interventions to help girls with moderate challenges before they become severe. In the event that preemptive services and short-term care are unsuccessful, Excelsior offers a longer term residential treatment program built to provide full time support.
- School based programs – focuses on educational endeavors, including a structured summer program and affective education, while offering counseling services and door-to-door transportation.
- Community based programs – specializes in working with adolescent girls who are high-risk for out-of-home placement. This program works to enhance safety, improve relationships within the family and create sustainable community supports and resources.
- Short term Crisis Stabilization – short term residential services offering at-risk adolescent girls a safe and structured setting for brief periods of stabilization, assessment and intervention.
- Respite Care – respite residential services for clients who have been living at home in the community to promote stabilization of the home environment and/or prevent a larger episode or an emergency situation.
- Day Treatment – an alternative school program for at-risk girls, who are behaviorally and emotionally stable enough to reside safely in the community but struggle to function effectively in the public school setting. This allows the girls to continue their educations while pursuing treatment.
- Residential Treatment Program – offers live-in therapeutic and educational services to girls who have struggled in less restrictive settings. Facilitated on a 33-acre campus setting that includes an on-site school, 9 cottages and a recreation center, this program provides 24/7 supervision for the girls.
Why a Continuum?
Excelsior’s continuum was designed in response to Colorado Department of Health Services’ expectation that children receive the right services at the right time. Children and families are unique, and a generalized approach to youth treatment is often ineffective. A diverse and thorough continuum provides the right service at the right time. If conducted effectively, girls are supported before they need more costly, long-term solutions. Additionally, within each care option, services can be individualized and specifically tailored to the unique needs of the child and her family.
How is a Continuum of Treatment Services Beneficial?
Traditionally, children bounce from one provider to another as their needs and behaviors change. Often, providers promote a “continuum” that is really a piece-meal set of services offered by various groups that are loosely committed to working together. Unfortunately these situations often produce barriers or gaps in service that hinder development. Integrating care options within a single provider prevents this, ultimately improving efficiency and quality of care.
More importantly, the Excelsior Continuum makes transitions easier for our girls because they are often able to keep the same therapist and psychiatrist throughout her treatment. As our girls build relationships with their support teams, they begin to feel safe and are able to progress in therapy more easily.
The Excelsior Continuum is also unique because it works in two ways. Effective outreach and short-term programs serve girls with mild challenges before they become severe. Likewise, the Continuum works in the other direction. Girls who begin in long-term residential care can graduate from more restrictive settings to less restrictive settings. Additionally, the Continuum provides a safety net in which girls can return to a higher level of care if needed. Providing a continuum of services within Excelsior provides greater support for the child during these transitions. Excelsior’s Continuum of services allows girls to progress at their own pace without switching providers, which ensures thoroughness of treatment and increases effectiveness.