Gibault, Inc. program serves youth who have affective disorders, Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), oppositional defiance, conduct disorder, sexual/emotional/physical abuse, anxiety and adjustment disorders.
The new Psychiatric Residential Treatment Facility (PTRF) serves children who exhibit chronic behaviors which may endanger themselves or others.
"The facility is a locked and secure unit in which none of the clients are allowed to leave without a staff member," Gibault Aftercare/Marketing Coordinator Molly Coulston said. "Medicaid completely funds the children who are in the building, and while inside, clients attend school and are monitored by at least two staff members at any given moment."
Also inside the facility is a recreational area and a dorm-style unit, where the clients stay, two to a room.
"Clients are allowed to decorate the walls with appropriate material," Coulston said. "Also, the room doors lock from the outside to prevent the children from intermingling. Once leaving their room, they require a staff member to let them back in."
Students are placed inside the facility following multiple disruptions in his or her placement in the family or group residence within a year.
Along with the secure settings, the PTRF holds a 24-hour awake staff and its own nursing station.
"The entire campus has a nursing staff, but there is a separate set of nurses specifically stationed within the PTRF," Coulston said.
Clients of Gibault range from ages 6-18 years of age and are reviewed monthly on their progress and evaluation of if further services are needed. The report of progress is sent to the family, as well as the agency in which the client was submitted by.
"Those within the Psychiatric unit go to therapy at least three times a week while the general population of the campus goes at least once a week," Coulston said. "Parents are also encouraged to participate in our family sessions, which take place at least once a month, usually face-to-face, but occasionally over the phone."
While the campus has psychologists on staff, the majority of the therapy sessions are with Dr. Paras Harshawat, a psychiatrist. The therapy given is treatment-based, not correctional.
Clients also take school classes, mainly on the junior high and high school levels, earning credits for a high school degree.
"We are also an accredited school by Vigo County," Coulston said. "The kids who live here also have a expansive recreational program, including playing in some high school sports."
The campus also is affiliated with the Indiana High School Athletic Association (IHSAA), playing smaller schools in the Wabash Valley, such as Northview High School. The recreation program is on-site and includes basketball, track, fishing, flag football, soccer, softball, swimming and volleyball.
Clients on campus are allowed to make calls to individuals on an approved list created by the staff. Parents of the school's clients, particularly within the PRTF, are asked to speak with a supervisor and leave a message for the child.
"We leave it up to each individual child as to whether or not they want to call the person back," Coulston said. "They are allowed to call out anywhere from once a week to once a day, based on behavior. Sometimes they might not be in the best of moods, and not want to call back a certain person right away."
As a client improves or nears their 19th birthday, they are occasionally sent to a group home, which slowly integrates them back into society.
"We help prepare the clients of the campus back into real life, helping them find jobs and apartments when necessary," Coulston said. "While it is all determined on the progress the child makes in the program, parents can also choose to pull their child out of the program at any point."
For more information about Gibault and its program/facilities. Contact the admissions department at 1-800-264-1156, ext. 3013, or visit www.gibault.org.