Social Workers

Rancho Damacitas has a dynamic, multi-dimensional, and multi-nuanced approach to treatment.

FORMAL CLINICAL SERVICES


Rancho Damacitas has a well-defined clinical program that includes five on-grounds therapists. Our therapists conduct individual therapy, group therapy, and family therapy. Because our therapists are on staff and carry a caseload of no more than 12, they are able to provide clinical interventions as needed based on what a child needs, regardless of their “therapy schedule.” Our therapists also lead each of our cottage’s treatment team. Each cottage treatment team meets weekly to discuss each child’s treatment progress and make adjustments to each child’s treatment plan as needed.

All of our therapists have been formally trained in evidence-based practices such as Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy. Additionally, our therapists’ treatment plans are based on evidence-based assessments to determine needs, goals, and implementation strategies. Finally regarding evidence-based practices, our staff is trained in Parenting with Love and Logic.

Rancho Damacitas devotes great resources to skill-building in children involved in our program: Quarterly group pull-out modules/series such as Aggression Replacement Therapy (A.R.T.), vocational exploration, substance abuse education, and social skills training are regularly included in our formal treatment, with children cycling through these various modules based on their individual and specific treatment needs.

Our clinical program also includes our psychiatrist who assesses our children’s mental health needs and monitors their psychotropic medications on our campus on a monthly basis.

PLACEMENT

There are three avenues for placement of a child into Rancho Damacitas.

Department of Social Services:
Rancho Damacitas works with the Department of Social Services from a variety of counties in Southern California. Children placed at Rancho Damacitas through Social Services receive strong clinical support and clinical rehabilitation services in preparation for either a return back into their family of origin, placement with appropriate relatives, placement into a foster care home, or emancipation into adulthood.

Because children who have been removed by CPS from their families will often struggle with a variety of emotional issues, Rancho Damacitas provides a dynamic clinical program that is strength-based, focusing our treatment and milieu strategies on growing children and not just managing their behaviors. We also use evidenced-based practices that include Parenting with Love and Logic, implementation of both Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, and evidence-based assessments to determine needs, goals, and implementation strategies. We then measure progress through weekly team meetings and follow-up assessments every 6-months. Finally our program is trauma-informed, with therapists and treatment staff/caregivers educated to effectively recognize and intervene into the behaviors, perceptions, and physical reactions that accompany maltreated children.

School District/SELPA:
Rancho Damacitas receives referrals for residential placement from various school districts in Southern California. Often SELPA programs are seeking a shorter term placement option for a child that is a step-down transition from higher levels of care (often out-of-state) back into their family of origin. Additionally, SELPA programs sometimes need a short-term crisis placement to stabilize a child, heal the crisis, and then return that child home.

For SELPA placements, Rancho Damacitas emphasizes our strong clinical component that includes: intensive individual and family therapy, on-grounds psychiatric assessment, and structured family visitation that grows more intense and liberal as the family system begins to stabilize. We also emphasize a warm family-orientated environment, as we have therapeutic home parents who live in each of our cottages. This provides a natural way for a child to pick up those skills and nuances needed for successful reunification with family, and also keeps them within a family context throughout the treatment process.

We also emphasize tutoring, technology, and academia progress as we have two on-campus tutors who provide academic tutoring services from our computer lab. Our tutors also provide a variety of academic enrichment programs to enhance a child’s educational repertoire. Rancho Damacitas works with our local public school district (Temecula Valley Unified) as well as various NPS schools (Non Public Schools) in our area in order to continue a child’s school progress. Temecula Valley Unified School District

Adoptions Assistance:
 Rancho Damacitas receives requests for placement from families in our community who have an adopted child in need of residential treatment services. A family’s step into seeking residential treatment is usually one of the last resorts, after all other less-restrictive treatment avenues have been exhausted. At times, a family’s journey with an adopted child can be complicated, as that child’s early beginnings prior to adoption may have included severe trauma, severe neglect, drug exposure in utro, and/or inherited mental health struggles.

Additionally, an adopted child’s journey into turbulent adolescent years can stir up self-identity questions and a sorting out of family of origin dynamics. As a result of these factors, an adopted family may decide that their child needs intensive residential services in order to stabilize their child and also their family system. Rancho Damacitas is often a key resource to our community families in this regard. And we enjoy being this key resource to families in such crisis.

For Adoptions Assistance placements, Rancho Damacitas emphasizes similar services to that of SELPA placements: Intensive family and individual therapy, on-grounds psychiatric assessment, and structured family visitation that grows more intense and liberal as the family system begins to stabilize. We also emphasize a warm family-oriented environment, as we have therapeutic home parents who live in each of our cottages. This provides a natural way for a child to pick up those skills and nuances needed for successful reunification with family, and also keeps them within a family setting throughout their treatment process. Additionally, Rancho Damacitas is both trauma-informed in our clinical treatment as well as educated in Reactive Attachment Disorder symptoms and treatment.

AFTER-CARE SERVICES

Rancho Damacitas understands that the transition for a child from treatment care back into a family setting can be stressful for both the child as well as the family. The first weeks of transition back into a family setting are, perhaps, the most vulnerable time for treatment setbacks. Rancho Damacitas provides “bridging services” to help heal this vulnerable time for children and their families. The goal for offering these “bridging services” is to relationally support the family transition in being successful. So Rancho Damacitas “remains at the table” with the family even after the child leaves our care, by offering extra after-care services for 5-8 weeks following discharge. These services include individual and family therapy, as well as consultation calls with our agency therapists when the family encounters possible behavioral challenges with the child.

From the moment of initial intake, Rancho Damacitas seeks to relationally invest in children and their families. When the child and family leave treatment, we want them to continue to grow and thrive. Thus, our after-care services are simply a natural outgrowth of our relational investment.

For more information or to apply for the program, contact the Program Director at (951) 302-2317 or CassandraA@4kidsfirst.org.