New Day specializes in providing a range of services to troubled children and their families. More than 24 years ago, New Day opened its doors specifically to improve the lives of youth with behavioral issues. And during those more than two decades, New Day has figured out a way to redirect, rebuild, and restore children who are having problems at school, home, or with other relationships.
New Day’s first step in assessing children is to include the family in deciding what’s best for their child, focusing on positive attributes and strengths. Case managers try to strengthen family relationships by encouraging open communication, teamwork, and respect. Then, a team of people gather to determine the best treatment approach. The panel includes counselors, guardians/parents, school officials, and New Day staff members. New Day allows for 30 days to assess each child’s needs to create a master treatment plan.
“A lot of our children who are struggling and don’t do well in a public-school setting or with getting along with other kids,” said Jennifer Stern, New Day’s clinical staff director. “We have a lot to offer these children. Our goal is to recommend the least-restrictive level of care possible, so they can go home if they want.”
Children diagnosed with a serious emotional disturbance (SED) and whom qualify for Montana Medicaid are eligible to receive treatment. A clinical director is on hand to determine if children suffer from SED, or from other treatable conditions.
“I like the fact that we offer services across the gamut,” Jennifer said. “So, even if we’re starting with a child who is struggling at home or in school, we can offer very basic help in case management to assist the family with referrals for outpatient services. However, we also offer an option of our school,” Jennifer said.
Accredited School Option
Children can actually attend classes at New Day, similar to a public-school setting. The classes are, in fact, accredited, which means the program meets educational standards.
New Day provides schooling to children ages 10-17, dividing classes by age groups and separating the boys from the girls.
“Parents question whether or not the educational credits gained at New Day are transferable to other schools, and the answer is yes,” said Jennifer Hickok, New Day principal.
Some teens even graduate from New Day, earning a high school graduation certificate, just like from a public high school. New Day has a written agreement with School District 2 in Billings that allows it to present official high school diplomas to graduating seniors.
Jennifer prepares a graduation ceremony every time a student perseveres and earns a diploma. It’s an achievement many parents thought was out of their children’s reach.
“I have them pick out graduation gowns, I play music for the ceremony, we invite friends and family, I order a cake and offer punch,” Jennifer said.
“When the parents attend, they get really emotional because they never thought their child would graduate. Many of them cry, and it’s an exciting time for everyone. Even though we don’t ask students to write a speech, every single one has given a speech during their graduation.”
“It’s great to see that we’re able to provide them a diploma that will travel with them for the rest of their lives,” she said.
New Day also extends its educational expertise outside the organization, teaching people who come into contact with children, be it in schools or in homes.
“Sometimes the public schools and the parents don’t get along because there’s a disconnect, and we try to create a healing process with them. We also use family therapy to give parents tools they can use,” Jennifer said.
• Mental Health & Chemical Dependency Evaluations
• Psychiatric Care & Medication Management
• Intensive Group, Individual & Family Therapy
• Day Treatment Program, Educational Services & Credit Recovery
• Level I.0 Outpatient Group
• Level I.0 Continuing Care Group
• Level II.I Intensive Outpatient Program
Native American Culture Enrichment
• Medicine Wheel (signifies the four “seasons” of
recovery – a never-ending process)
• Talking Circle (a type of group therapy)
• Sweat Lodge (a spiritual cleansing and “rebirth” of a person)
• Smudging (a purification process that uses medicinal plants)
• Drum Group
• Equine Assist Experiential Therapy (the use of
horses for therapy recovery)