Good Shepherd Services : Our Programs : Faqs
Can we visit Good Shepherd Services before deciding it is right for our child?
Yes, please call our Admissions Department to set up a convenient day and time to visit our Center.
Will our family’s confidentiality be protected?
Your family’s confidentiality is extremely important to Good Shepherd Services. The Center safeguards your confidentiality through the use of a strict confidentiality policy and comprehensive confidentiality agreements signed by each Good Shepherd Services’ staff member.
How long will my child be at Good Shepherd Services?
The length of stay is determined by your child’s treatment team and, ultimately, by the progress your child is making. Generally, students stay at the GSS between 6 months and 1 year.
Who are the people that care for my child in the residential units?
A team of well trained and credentialed professionals plan and deliver care to your child. It begins with your child’s treatment team consisting of a psychiatrist, therapist, unit managers, education and nursing staff. In addition, other members of the Good Shepherd staff interact with your child depending on need. From time to time you may receive calls from medical and nursing staff about such things as medication, ongoing medical conditions and other medical management issues. Your child’s therapist and unit manager (clinical milieu coordinator or CMM) will be your primary contact regarding treatment issues as well as group life issues. The unit coordinator oversees the day to day running of your child’s assigned unit. Education needs are addressed through the teachers and school administrators.
How does my child continue schooling while at Good Shepherd Services?
Good Shepherd Services, in addition to its treatment program, contains an academic school approved by the State of Maryland for grades 8 through 12. All traditional high school subjects- English, math, history, government, biology, earth sciences, and art are available. For high school seniors, we are often able to plan a program so the student leaves Good Shepherd Services with an accredited high school diploma.
What type of Behavior Management is used at Good Shepherd Services?
Good Shepherd Services utilizes both the Therapeutic Crisis Intervention (TCI) system and the Behavior Intervention Support Team (BIST) approach while managing behaviors. TCI provides a curriculum and systematic approach to reducing the need for high-risk interventions such as restraints and seclusions. BIST is a psychoeducational model that aids in establishing supportive relationships between staff and students while teaching students how to manage feelings in safe ways within a protective environment. Each Residential Counselor and Behavior Intervention (BIST) Specialist is trained on how to state clear expectations, limits and appropriate consequences in a supportive manner. This approach to dealing with problem behavior aids in guiding each student through the slow process of change by offering the grace, accountability, and support needed to reach their full potential.
Will my teen be required to perform chores?
Yes, chores are key elements in Good Shepherd Services’ program. While Good Shepherd employs a housekeeping service for heavy cleaning, students are required to tidy and straighten both their bedrooms and an additional area of their residential unit as part of a daily structured routine.
Is transportation available for doctor visits and other appointments?
Yes, transportation is provided and the student will be accompanied to scheduled appointments.
What items should my teen bring for residency at Good Shepherd Services?
A list of permitted items will be available to you and your child. It is important that this list is adhered to and that items not permitted are returned immediately to your home. All items brought to the Good Shepherd should be labeled with your child’s name.
Who can I contact to get information about my child?
It is best to be in touch with your child’s therapist between the hours of 9 am and 5 pm. The therapist is able to provide information about your child’s unit and school behavior.
How often am I allowed to visit?
You are allowed to visit daily: Monday through Friday from 6 to 7 pm, Saturday and Sunday, from noon to 1 pm or 2 to 3pm, depending on your child’s unit.
What is the Shepherd Shop?
The Shepherd Shop is a store where newly admitted GSS students can obtain clothing and other items they may need. In addition, the Shepherd Shop opens once a month for students to spend Shepherd dollars that they can earn daily as a reward or incentive for helping on the residential units, in the activities department , or in the Good Shepherd School. Students are also allowed to work as workers in the Shepherd Shop to receive community service hours and to give them a real life work experience.
What can I bring when I come to visit my teen?
It is important to bring items for your child only during family meetings. This way the unit is aware that all items have been approved.
When I am allowed to call my child?
Your child has permission to call family members from the residential unit. Staff will dial the number, ask for the family member, and then your child can be on the phone for fifteen minutes. This will allow time for other students to call their families as well. If you are not available when your child calls, staff will leave a message. When you return the call, Good Shepherd’s staff will verify your phone number and will call you back as soon as possible.
Will my teen’s special dietary needs be accommodated?
A nutrition screening is performed by the nurse upon admission and our dietitian will meet with your child to ensure that dietary/health needs are met. The medical, nursing and dietary staffs at Good Shepherd are invested in providing a balanced diet that maintains and supports health.
How will my youth’s religious needs be met?
Good Shepherd Services staff respect the faith and religious preference of students. GSS will coordinate or provide appropriate services requested by students and/or treatment teams through Pastoral Services. The principal aim of Pastoral Services is to ensure our students’ growth and understanding of spiritual and moral values and to help integrate these beliefs into student lifestyles. Because treatment at Good Shepherd Services is oriented towards a return to home communities, students are encouraged to maintain contact with churches, synagogues and clergy in their local neighborhoods through letters, family visits, and home visits. When indicated, pastoral services will facilitate an ongoing relationship with spiritual resources in the home community.
What if I have a question that isn’t answered here?