Model Family Programs for Delinquency Prevention
Rating * Promising Target * 10-18 Speciality * Comprehensive
Program * Bethesda Family Services Foundation
Description *

  Bethesda Family Services Foundation seeks to provide comprehensive individual and family centered treatment to pre-adjudicated and adjudicated juveniles. The program serves youth between 10-18 years old who have committed status and delinquent offenses. Bethesda offers a unique blend of treatment and intervention for the whole family during nontraditional hours. The program seeks to provide values oriented treatment to youth that prepares them for re-entry into mainstream society.

This program provides comprehensive services designed to meet every type of need including licensed after school and evening day treatment, individualized alternative education, family-systems counseling, licensed substance abuse counseling and licensed short-term foster care. Clients receive at least six months treatment which may include as much as 55 hours of treatment each week. Home visits and Bethesda's Family Systems counseling are part of each clients weekly schedule. Parent meetings and trainings are held monthly. Case managers individually tailor the program to meet the client's needs for individual, group or family based treatment modalities.

Bethesda's treatment programs utilize a strategic systems approach which is effective in bringing all agency staff into harmony by uniting them toward achieving the same treatment goals for each individual client. Bethesda's Normative Systems approach is established to structure and control the behavior of the youth in the program. Bethesda's Family Systems Counseling is cognitive-behavioral therapy which addresses the root causes of the youth's behavior by resolving the relational conflict within his/her family. Both systems of treatment have been successful in helping the Bethesda program to fulfill its mission of "healing America's families."

Preliminary studies show significantly reduced recidivism rates for participants in this program. In addition, significant positive changes in client attitudes, behaviors, self awareness and personal relationships have been shown. Other studies are currently underway. Bethesda's methods of intervention are so powerful and compelling that the program has been featured four times on national television documentaries, including the 1996 Father's Day special called Bad Dads produced by Arnold Shapiro & hosted by George Foreman.

    Contact * Dominic Herbst, President 
    Address* P.O. Box 210  
        West Milton, PA  17886
    Phone * 717 568-2373
    Email  * 
    Dept. of Health Promotion and Education

Funded by - Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention