When our doors first opened in 1882, Children’s Home of Northern Kentucky operated as a traditional orphanage. We provided a safe haven for kids in need of the basic necessities of food, clothing, and shelter. But as the need for orphanages waned across the United States in the 1970s, we turned our attention to what was fast becoming a community need – residential care for youth with behavioral health needs that cannot be treated through outpatient services.
Today, CHNK Behavioral Health offers two residential care programs. Private Child Care (PCC) residential treatment is our longest-running program (launched in 1980) and serves youth in the custody of the Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS). In 2018, CHNK also began operating as a Psychiatric Residential Treatment Facility (PRTF) for youth with debilitating mental health disorders.
Private Child Care (PCC) Residential Care
Launched in 1980 and still in operation today, our PCC residential treatment program serves male youth aged 7 to 17. These young clients are in state custody due to abuse, neglect, or other trauma in their families of origin. They’ve been placed at CHNK by Kentucky’s Department for Community Based Services (DCBS).
Many of the youth in this program experience behavioral health issues (e.g., aggression, impulse control, suicidal thoughts) caused by adverse childhood experiences. Our treatment team provides them with the therapy and healthy coping skills needed to recover from these experiences. Also, if permitted by DCBS, we offer family therapy, family visits, phone calls, and/or home visits.
Youth in PCC Residential Care live on our sprawling, 58-acre Burlington campus in Boone County. Trained residential treatment specialists, therapists, and case managers work together as a team to oversee the daily life of our clients. A recreational therapist ensures clients have healthy extracurricular opportunities that advance social skills, build self-esteem, improve communication skills, and develop independent living skills. Our partner in education, Boone County Schools, provides academic services.
Psychiatric Residential Treatment
In early 2018, CHNK also began operating as a Psychiatric Residential Treatment Facility (PRTF) for youth diagnosed with one or more complex mental health conditions. These youth need short-term treatment that can most effectively be provided in a residential care facility. Often these youth are transitioning from a psychiatric hospital but need to practice and strengthen the skills they are learning before they return home or to a foster care environment. CHNK is the only Behavioral Health Services Organization in Northern Kentucky licensed to meet this critical community need for Kentucky youth.
The average length of stay in a PRTF is three to four months. Clients in CHNK’s psychiatric residential treatment program receive care on our tranquil, scenic Covington campus that adjoins Devou Park. While in treatment, clients have access to individual and family therapy; medication evaluation, monitoring, and adjustments; maintaining and advancing of their education; and psycho-education sessions regarding their specific illness and how to manage it.