Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court Alert:
Stepping Stones (formerly Boys Probation House) is a community-based, non-secure, 12-bed residential treatment program for court-involved males, ages 14-18. It is a highly-structured program designed to reduce chronic delinquent behavior and emphasize the acceptance of personal responsibility by participants. The boys require a higher level of care than out-patient treatment can provide. The goal of the program is to 1) address long-standing behavioral, emotional, mental health and family issues, which led to the youth being placed out of the home, and 2) facilitate the successful reintegration of the residents into the community and the family by increasing protective factors, reducing risk factors and ultimately impacting the youths' risk to reoffend.
Stepping Stones Program’s Philosophy of Positive Youth Development (PYD) consisting of 8 “Core Philosophical Principles,” called the “8 C’s” emphasizes our primary reliance on rehabilitation through relational based change processes, which promote the internalizations needed for lasting changes beyond our Program. We believe in promoting positive youth outcomes through fostering the following:
Competence: When we notice what young people are doing right and give them opportunities to develop important skills, they feel competent. We undermine competence when we don't allow young people to recover themselves after a fall.
Confidence: Young people need confidence to be able to navigate the world, think outside the box, and recover from challenges.
Connection: Connections with other people, schools, and communities offer young people the security that allows them to stand on their own and develop creative solutions.
Character: Young people need a clear sense of right and wrong and a commitment to integrity.
Contribution: Young people who contribute to the well-being of others will receive gratitude rather than condemnation. They will learn that contributing feels good and may therefore more easily turn to others and do so without shame.
Caring: Having a sense of sympathy and empathy for others; commitment to social justice.
Coping: Young people who possess a variety of healthy coping strategies will be less likely to turn to dangerous quick fixes when stressed.
Control: Young people who understand privileges and respect are earned through demonstrated responsibility will learn to make wise choices and feel a sense of control.
Residents attend a Fairfax County alternative school, located onsite, providing an opportunity to improve academic performance in a structured and supportive school environment. The therapeutic program focuses on personal accountability of each resident to his own individualized treatment goals--specifically as they relate to improving interpersonal effectiveness, emotional regulation, and positive engagement within the community. The program accomplishes this by engaging the residents in individual, group, and family counseling as well as involvement in positive activities that foster the 8C’s of PYD as well as education related to health and wellness. The residents work toward interrupting negative behavioral patterns in a highly structured, supportive environment with increasing levels of expectation and responsibility as they move toward successful reintegration into the community.
Major goals of treatment through the PYD lens are to make residents more responsible for their behavior, increase their self-worth, help them learn to make better decisions in their lives, and promote an understanding and acceptance of the role of authority and its value in their daily lives. Parental involvement is required and considered crucial to successful treatment.
Click here to read the Fairfax County Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court's PREA Policy.