Frequently Asked Questions
What teen problems does Eckerd E-Nini-Hassee address?
We help troubled girls who are struggling with school, involved in family conflicts, experimenting with drugs, experiencing depression, low self esteem, Attention Deficit Disorder, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Oppositional Defiant Disorder or other emotional problems and behavioral issues. We have over four decades of experience and success with children and families who have not responded to other types of treatment programs and counseling.
How long will my child need to be in treatment?
Upon admission, treatment goals are established and agreed upon by the child and parents. Length of stay is based on each girl’s individual progress toward achieving treatment goals, not a predetermined time period. Typically, parents should expect their child to stay at least 6 months.
What is different/special about your approach?
Eckerd E-Nini-Hassee’s model is a unique, proven approach that provides true, long-lasting changes in attitudes and behaviors in girls. Our program is non-punitive and teaches girls self-management, to think differently and learn how to problem solve by themselves and with others. It is an internally motivated system that will guide them for the rest of their lives. We have countless numbers of graduates who come back to visit our program and say that what they learned at E-Nini-Hassee they use in their own lives today and with their children.
Research suggests that Cognitive/Behavioral interventions with the emphasis on Social Learning approach works with girls. Staff are hired for their ability to build rapport and engage in successful relationships with girls. Emphasis on staff training is on building skill sets that allow staff to maintain a supportive culture of care. Staff are strong role models who demonstrate lasting skill development and in turn provide opportunities for girls to practice new skills and receive constructive feedback regarding performance. Staff collaborate with girls on implementing new strategies to improve performance. A feedback loop that provides for empathetic learning is enhanced with the group approach as girls are encouraged to share with each other how decisions impact them and others.
Eckerd E-Nini-Hassee uses a myraid of evidence-based curriculums and approaches with a gender-specific focus. Several established models are: Skill Streaming, the adolescent VOICES curriculum for girls, 8 to Great and Botvin Life Skills Training.
How often may I contact my child, and how often may I visit?
Parent support and family involvement is an essential component of our program.
In addition to formal parent visitation days, the girls go home for weekend visits typically every eight weeks as an important part of our therapeutic program and transition planning. Home visits are utilized to practice new skills that have been learned in our program and prepare both girls and families for what support may be needed.
Due to the nature of our programming, phone calls home are not always readily available. The group may be on a canoe trip or participating in a field activity some distance from telephones. Arrangements can be made to accommodate parent requests for visits and phone calls in these situations.
What are the qualifications of the line staff who work directly with the teens?
The licensed Clinical Director who supervises our group treatment, as well as a consulting adolescent board certified psychiatrist and a family physician. Each girl has a dedicated Group Treatment Coordinator, who typically has either a bachelor’s or master’s degree. The Group Treatment Coordinator works directly with your child to provide group and individual counseling services as needed, and is your main point of contact while your child is in our program.
Our qualified youth counselors undergo extensive, field-specific training programs. Training is provided utilizing externally developed tools and certification programs from the American Red Cross and others. Youth counselors are certified by the American Red Cross in CPR, First Aid, Basic Water Safety and Canoe Safety. Our counselors also receive extensive training in Motivational Interviewing, Trauma Informed Care, 8 to Great, Skill Streaming and Life Skills. The trainings are integrated so that they each complement one another to provide your child with the best possible treatment to their individual needs.
In addition, all staff and contractors working with your child, undergo extensive background and criminal checks prior to any contact with your child.
How do you handle disruptive or negative behavior?
The first step in addressing most disruptive or negative behavior is simple feedback. Often, this feedback is helpful in letting the individual know that what she is doing is inappropriate. If the behavior continues, a group huddle-up is used. The huddle-up is both a technique of group organization and a process of positive peer-group counseling. In the huddle, the girls will hear feedback from peers as well as the group’s counselors about the behavior, how it is affecting them, and what the likely natural consequences may be if the behavior continues. To extend learning beyond the immediate situation, the counselor helps your child identify appropriate behaviors in school and home environments. There is often both positive peer pressure and peer support that comes out during a huddle. The counselors make sure that feedback and discussion is positively directed to be effective. Generally, girls who have been in our program for a few months will have assimilated the skills of encouragement and active listening, and will use them appropriately as well.
What is a typical day in treatment like?
A typical day is activity-rich – combining education with group therapy sessions and therapeutic outdoor activities, as well as some quiet time for reflection. There is a structure and schedule to every day, planned in part by group members themselves, yet with flexibility to adjust to immediate needs.
Wake up begins at 7:00 am with several chores girls are responsible for completing. Breakfast is served at 8:30 am with the tables being set by 2 girls that work as partners. Breakfast is served family style in a relaxed manner. After breakfast, each group will begin Core activities which will range from education sessions, group discussion, an experiential session or a work project session. Lunch is served at 1:00 pm, again with 2 girls partnering together to set the table. By 2:00 pm, the group heads back to the Core activity planned for that day which also may include basic needs such as showers, sorting laundry or developing the next week’s plans. Core activities will vary from group to group based on the camp-wide theme for the session. Daily and weekly plans are made by the groups themselves with input and direction from the staff. Each day should reflect a balance of work, play, educational and therapeutic time. Groups will gather again for dinner at 6:00pm. After each evening meal all the girls will participate in an activity that is geared for all. These evening “dining halls” may relate to current events, provide opportunities to explore new, creative activities or just have fun. Each day concludes with the group evaluating their day through our traditional “pow-wow”. This activity gives each girl a chance to reflect on her day by expressing goals she accomplished or areas in which she would like to improve. It is a way to end each day on a positive note by expressing gratitude and setting goals for the following day. A typical night “lights out” is 9:30 pm
What is your medication policy?
We recognize that some girls needs include medication, and we prefer children to take the minimum amount of medication therapeutically necessary to address these needs. The girls are evaluated regularly by a psychiatrist for medication monitoring.
In addition, Eckerd E-Nini-Hassee has two registered nurses who oversee each girl’s individualized health care regimen. Eckerd E-Nini-Hassee contracts with a local medical doctor to provide oversight of all health care policies and procedures and provide onsite routine gender-responsive health care services and education to all of the girls.
How quickly after entering the residential program does a child start working on her education?
Our year-round, on-campus school is nationally accredited, with state certified teachers, which meet all national and state Department of Education guidelines. Most often students are enrolled the day after intake provided the student has been un-enrolled from her previous school placement. As soon as parents provide transcript information or a release of information is signed, a schedule is created to fit your child’s academic needs. Our educational program can accommodate credit recovery and Advance Placement (AP) classes as well. Through experiential learning and classroom instruction, students will receive instruction daily with a focus on math, science, English, social studies and more.
Can my child earn school credits while in your program?
Yes. Students can earn up to a maximum of six (6) academic credits per school year and an additional two (2) credits during the summer term. Upon completing our program, credits are transferable to the home school.
My child’s a senior; do you offer diplomas?
Yes. A standard high school diploma (24 credits) is issued from Pinellas County Schools showing a graduation from Eckerd E-Nini-Hassee. A student with an IEP (Individualized Educational Plan) indicating a special diploma option will receive a special diploma from the same entity.
How do I apply for admission?
Parents can apply by completing an application downloaded directly from our website or by contacting our Admissions Department at (888) 726-3883, Monday – Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET, to receive an admissions kit in the mail.
What is the cost of your treatment program?
For details, please visit our tuition page of our website or you may contact our Admissions Department at (888) 726-3883, Monday through Friday 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. ET.
Does Eckerd offer financial assistance?
We work with families to help them explore all options for financing the treatment program. For example, many of our parents obtain low-interest, flexible payment educational loans to cover part or the entire program. Our Admissions Department can assist you in applying for these loans that can make our program more affordable through low monthly payments for families that qualify. For more information, you can visit Clark Behavioral Health Financing at www.clarkbhf.com.
What can be financed with student loans?
In addition to the monthly tuition, often airfare or other travel costs associated with your child’s treatment can be financed. Parents can choose whether to finance all or just part of the student’s tuition.
Will insurance cover your program?
It might. Eckerd E-Nini-Hassee is an approved in-network provider with Value Options, the behavioral health care company of choice for many businesses, government entities and academic institutions across the country, as well as Magellan Pinnacle and Summit commercial insurance networks, and the Florida Medicaid HMO Network – Healthy Kids.