New El Monte Day Program Serves Local TeenagersDec 18, 2016 -
Boys Republic model for intensive day treatment has long track record of success
It is with great pleasure that we report the opening, in August 2016, of Boys Republic’s El Monte Day Treatment Program. The collaborative effort among Boys Republic, Los Angeles County Probation Department and Los Angeles County Office of Education is housed in the Jeff Seymour Family Services Center in El Monte, California. We are especially excited to undertake the El Monte project because it is designed to replicate, as nearly as possible, our highly successful Monrovia Day Treatment Program.
Like our program in Monrovia, the El Monte Day Treatment Program is intended for boys and girls at-risk of school failure or deepening juvenile justice system involvement, but who can still live at home. The El Monte program has an enrollment capacity of 25 students. Students spend weekdays, 10 hours per day, in a highly-structured school setting.
The school emphasizes clear expectations, accountability, and parental involvement. Students are expected to encourage each other to take responsibility for their behavior. Our overall goals for day treatment are simple: We want to prevent students from being placed outside of their homes, and we want to return them to grade level so they can continue their education at local schools.
Using this model, we’ve operated the Monrovia program since 1978, and its success has been dramatic. Of the students completing our day treatment programs, more than 90% either earn a high school diploma or return to their neighborhood school academically at grade level, while continuing to live at home and remaining arrest-free.
When compared to the cost of residential placement, intensive day treatment presents a very attractive alternative. During fiscal 2015, the total operating budget for our Monrovia program was $293,747, or $2,464 per student per month. By comparison, the approximate cost to the taxpayer to treat a teenager in a typical California group home was $7,746 — more than three times the cost of day treatment.
The Boys Republic model for intensive day treatment is a real bargain, especially when you consider the need and potential savings to the taxpayer. As of April 1, 2016, there were 2,286 probation youth in placement, statewide. We estimate that roughly one-fourth of those youth could be appropriately served in day treatment programs, were they available.
Until recently, California’s child care system has been slow to adopt the day treatment model, primarily because there is, as yet, no stable funding stream. There are indications that may change.
The recent passage in California of Assembly Bill 403 realigns the State’s child welfare system toward services provided within the youth’s community. Programs like our intensive day treatment in El Monte provide a viable solution for youth who need a highly-structured program of services that integrates school, family and positive peer relations.