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Intensive Psychiatric Residential Treatment: Family Involvement Leads to Better Outcomes

At Alexander Youth Network, we are committed to providing innovative and highly effective mental health services for children and adolescents. Through our array of programs and services, we provide relationship-centered treatment tailored to nurture and enhance the connections vital for children and adolescents during their therapeutic journey. Within each child’s personalized plan, our clinical team collaborates closely with the child/adolescent and their family to create lasting behavioral change. 

Our residential treatment program offers Intensive Psychiatric Residential Treatment (iPRTF) in Greensboro and Charlotte. This program takes our residential model a step further with an even greater focus on family involvement. iPRTF offers 4 key components: smaller caseloads, ongoing weekly family therapy within the PRTF and at home, proactive aftercare planning, and post-discharge support. 

Family Involvement and Treatment Planning 

By emphasizing family involvement through iPRTF,  we ensure that families have the necessary tools, support and resources to help their child successfully transition back home. The overall goal of iPRTF is to maintain family engagement, decrease the child’s length of stay in residential treatment, and improve overall outcomes for children and adolescents following their return to the community. 

Families in the iPRTF program have a dedicated licensed clinician and family partner who work closely with families to address any barriers that may prevent a successful and lasting treatment. One of the most unique aspects of our iPRTF program is the provision of weekly family therapy sessions held at the PRTF and at home. These sessions are designed to keep families together and build the skills needed for success when the child returns home from residential treatment. We can address issues in real time by providing therapy and more personalized care in the home environment. In addition, the family partner remains involved with the family for 12-15 months post-discharge, providing ongoing support and guidance. 

“There’s a great joy in working with a family to create solutions by being in their home and their community,” Jody Sparks, iPRTF Coordinator said. “With the family engaged and doing collaborative problem-solving, it builds confidence and trust for both the client and the family. Our commitment to family engagement ensures a successful and sustainable reunification process.” 

IPRTF Yields Successful Results 

The program model, first developed by Magellan Behavioral Health of Pennsylvania, boasts impressive outcomes that have been replicated at Alexander. According to their published two-year outcomes report, kids and adolescents served through the iPRTF program had less than 5% emergency room utilization during the first 90 days of discharge. Additionally, at least 80% of children or adolescents who received iPRTF services had stable community living for at least 90 days after their transition back home. 

This highlights the effectiveness of the iPRTF model in achieving positive outcomes for children and families. 

“Family engagement is a key component to the success of our children at Alexander Youth Network,” said Xavier Dunbar, Executive Director of Charlotte Residential Treatment. “Our iPRTF program recognizes that from day one by ensuring that every client and their family receives the support and resources they need to thrive both during and after their time in our care.” 

If you’re seeking comprehensive psychiatric residential care with a strong focus on family involvement, our iPRTF (intensive PRTF) program in Charlotte and Greensboro is here to help.  Please contact our Intake Department at or by calling (855) 362-8470 for more information about our residential program and to begin the referral process.  We look forward to supporting your family on the path to healing and reunification! 

Written by Kevin Whitlock

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