Stepping Stones (formerly Boys Probation House) is a community-based, non-secure, 16-bed residential treatment program for male juvenile offenders, ages 14-17. 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.
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 the 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 and education related to health and wellness. The juveniles 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.
Program participants are assigned to one of two groups each with eight members. Residents participate in program activities with the members of their assigned group. Major goals of treatment are to make residents more responsible for their behavior, 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.