In recent years Kinship Center’s Education Institute has added boarding schools and residential treatment centers to its growing list of clients who need expert training in how to help struggling children and teens and how to promote healing for families in crisis.

Currently the Institute is providing adoption competency training and consultation to three residential treatment programs across the country that have a significant percentage of adopted children in attendance. The high percentage is not unusual for residential programs, says Kinship Center Executive Vice President Carol Bishop, who is part of a Kinship Center team exploring a facility in Utah that has asked for Kinship Center’s help.

“We’re finding that adopted children make up a disproportionate percent of the student bodies in many boarding schools and programs, and that school administrators and staff are not equipped to meet the unique needs of this population,” said Bishop.  “This particular school – West Ridge Academy in West Jordan, UT (photo left) – has a student population that is made up of 44% adopted youth. The staff approached Kinship Center about engaging our adoption expertise to enhance their program. They want to be sure they are providing adoption competent services to these youth and their families.”

This month Kinship Center experts traveled to Salt Lake City to tour the campus, talk with the administration and staff, meet and talk with students, and learn about the school’s program and culture. Since 1964 West Ridge Academy has been offering hope and healing to young people by providing clinical services and an educational experience that promotes spiritual awareness, personal accountability and a change of heart. Since its beginning the school has helped more than 25,000 troubled teens and their families.

“West Ridge Academy appears to be an excellent program, with skilled clinical and educational staff and very little turnover of staff, lending stability to their culture,” said Bishop. “Their core values match those of Kinship Center, and their goal is to keep parents engaged while youth are in residence and to return youth home as soon as possible.”

Kinship Center is exploring bringing a variety of training and consultation services to the campus and developing some joint projects for the future, says Bishop. “We found our time with them to be mutually beneficial in many ways, and very promising for a partnership into the future.”

Kinship Center’s Education Institute offers curricula and services that are models in the field of child welfare and mental health. To date more than 6,000 professionals in the U.S. and abroad have received the benefit of Kinship Center’s expert training.

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