Development of a secure unit within a residential treatment facility for children and adolescents

Audra Barnett Yacka, Pace University


Although adults have been treated in psychiatric facilities since the early 1900s, specialized treatment for children and adolescents did start until decades later and did not become widespread until the 1960s. Even more recently, outcome studies of programs have become quite important in order to help justify cost and effectiveness of psychiatric treatment programs. This recent trend has been emphasized greatly by the managed-care movement. While adult facilities have been the focus of many research studies, literature related to treatment programs for adolescents and children has been much more limited. Outcome studies and program evaluations provide information about the efficacy of treatment, which in addition to demonstrating cost-effectiveness to third party payers, allows for treatment to be improved as well. This project was completed at the Youth Opportunity Center, Inc. (YOC) in Muncie, Indiana. The primary focus was the development of a treatment program for a new secure unit. The TASC Unit (Treatment of Adolescents in Secure Care) was built as an addition to the existing YOC residential treatment center for children and adolescents. Procedures for how the treatment program was developed and results of the final program are presented. Strengths and limitations of how this was completed are discussed as well as suggestions for how future projects can be improved. The treatment program designed in this project is currently being used in the 28-bed TASC Unit, which opened in August 1999. The second part of this project involved creating a plan for studying outcomes for the new unit. There was no data collection or implementation of any study, as the goal of this part of the project was simply to present a plan for a recommended outcome study. Suggestions included tracking more specific information about residents' treatment history, extent of family involvement in the treatment program, and assessment of behavioral changes in residents. The purpose of creating a plan for studying outcomes was to assist YOC in planning for evaluating the effectiveness of the program and to analyze what program components may need to be improved.

Subject Area

Psychotherapy|Mental health

Recommended Citation

Yacka, Audra Barnett, "Development of a secure unit within a residential treatment facility for children and adolescents" (2000). ETD Collection for Pace University. AAI9976194.



Remote User: Click Here to Login (must have Pace University remote login ID and password. Once logged in, click on the View More link above)