Girls Probation House Ceremony
Fairfax County Office of Public Affairs
12000 Government Center Parkway, Suite 551
Fairfax, VA 22035-0065
703-324-3187, TTY 711, FAX 703-324-2010
Oct. 3, 2005
30th Anniversary Ceremony Held at
Fairfax County’s Girls Probation House
“Fairfax County led the way when it established the Girls Probation House in 1975,” said Judge Teena Grodner of the Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court at a ceremony on Sept. 30 that marked the program’s 30th anniversary. “It recognized what many have now come to realize — you can’t take a boys program, paint it pink and call it a girls program.”
More than 700 teenage girls have been part of the Girls Probation House program since it opened its doors in October 1975. A number of former residents and their families came back for the event and were joined by judges and county officials, including Hunter Mill District Supervisor Catherine Hudgins.
“The fact that you people won’t give up on us is really important,” said one former resident.
“It was hard work,” said another former resident. “But it paid off. I’m thankful for the opportunity to come to GPH every day.”
“We are proud of the positive influence we have had on the young women who have passed through the Girls Probation House program during the last 30 years,” said director Mary Brantley. “Many still keep in touch.”
Dennis Fee, the Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court director of residential services, reminded that, “These are our children, our families. It is a measure of our community how we take care of them.”
The community-based group home serves 12 residents at a time who range in age from 13 to 17, and stay for a period of three to six months. The family-oriented treatment program is for girls involved in chronic status offenses and/or delinquent behavior who are placed there by the court to change behavior that has resulted in their court involvement. This approach has been used as the model for Fairfax County’s Boys Probation House, as well as for other local residential treatment facilities.
The highly structured program is designed to help residents gain a sense of independence, self-control and self-confidence so they can successfully return to their homes and communities and build healthy, productive futures. Its counselors emphasize personal responsibility through behavior modification in a positive peer culture, utilizing individual, group and intensive family counseling, and a weekly parent support group. Two teachers from Fairfax County Public Schools provide individualized instruction to help students achieve success in their educational experience.
For further information on the Girls Probation House, contact Mary Brantley at 703-830-2930, ext. 202, TTY 711.
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