The Substance Abuse Program provides assessments, early intervention groups, treatment groups, referral services, family support, parent coaching and aftercare to meet the needs of youth and families living in and around Kent.
The Substance Abuse Treatment Programs all work from an abstinence based philosophy. We believe it is an essential part of all Substance Abuse Treatment to have the youth demonstrate the ability to abstain for a period of at least 10 weeks from alcohol and other drugs. However, treatment is not complete by a youth only demonstrating this ability. They are also required to make changes in their life, typically in areas that have been negatively impacted by their substance use. This includes: improving relationships, improving academic performance, not engaging in any illegal activity and building a peer group that is supportive of abstinence and pro-social behaviors.
To begin services, please contact us at 253-859-0300 extension 3104. We will work with you to set an assessment appointment, which is the first step in the process.
All assessments performed are designed to identify the young person's level of substance use, abuse or dependence. In addition to identifying their level of use, we also assess the rest of the characteristics in their life that are impacting them, both positively and negatively. We assess mental health, physical health, social relationships, academic performance, home life, financial security, and motivation for treatment. Based on this assessment, youth are assigned to services (see the following treatment services list) that in our professional opinion will address their issues best and give them the best chance for success.
These sessions are designed for youth interested in experimenting or getting involved in drugs and alcohol. They are informed, empowered and challenged to stop their use and encouraged to maintain their abstinent lifestyle. Steering them in the right direction away from curiosities and peer pressure. These sessions open their eyes to a brighter future.
Often we will include counseling as a part of treatment because it gives the youth and their counselor an opportunity to work on issues impacting their lives that would not be appropriate to address in a group setting. This work looks at the more unique risk factors a youth presents with, such as a history of abuse, sexual identity issues, mental health issues, etc.
Since chemical dependency affects the entire family, we believe it is essential that families participate in their child's treatment program. Often this comes in the form of attending the parent support group, but sometimes also involves family counseling. During family counseling we address the impact of substance use on the family, communication styles and patterns, conflict management and problem solving skills. All these sessions are designed to increase the functional level of the family that has been impacted by chemical dependency.
KYFS offers a number of groups. All groups are based on curriculum that give the youth knowledge, skills, understanding and structure to help them abstain from substance use. In order to complete group, all youth must demonstrate the ability to abstain from substance use for 10 consecutive weeks and achieve goals that are mutually agreed upon with their counselor. These goals typically relate to academics, communication, healthy living, etc. The intensity (number of group hours per week) is based on the needs of your child and how much support they need in order to be successful on an outpatient basis. Youth with less risk factors and more protective factors are recommended to a lower intensity treatment. While youth with higher risk factors and lower protective factors are referred to a higher intensity treatment. In addition to different levels of intensity, there are also a number of different Substance Abuse Counseling Groups.
Back on Track is an early intervention/prevention group. During the course of this group youth work on "getting back on track." This means different things for different youth, but typically revolves around improving academic performance, looking at their involvement in illegal activities and the thinking errors, peer influence, etc. that contribute to their illegal behaviors. They also learn and practice skills related to communication, problem solving, conflict management and substance use.
This group meets two times per week. It is for youth that are abusing or dependent on drugs and do not have many other risk factors. This group predominantly focuses on the impact that substance use has had in their lives and gives them the skills and knowledge to arrest their substance use. Topics include, refusal skills, triggers for use, motivation for abstinence, impact of substance use on personal relationships, academic success and living a life free from substance use.
This group meets two times per week. This group is designed for youth who are involved in the juvenile justice system and have substance abuse or dependence. During this group the youth are involved in an evidence based program, Moral Reconation Therapy. They address their criminal thinking and at the same time address their substance use.
This group meets one time per week and is coupled with weekly individual and/or family counseling. It is for youth that have been diagnosed with a mental health disorder and a substance abuse diagnosis. This group utilizes a curriculum that promotes an individual's well being in all areas of their life. It gives the youth the skills and knowledge to address their mental health and substance abuse disorders in a concurrent fashion by the same counselor that facilitates their group.
This group meets two times per week and is also coupled with weekly individual and/or family counseling. This group is also for youth diagnosed with a mental health disorder but also have a higher level of substance use, usually qualifying them for a substance dependence diagnosis. As with Steady Change, this group utilizes a curriculum that promotes an individual's well being in all areas of their life. It gives the youth the skills and knowledge to address their mental health and substance abuse or dependence disorders in a concurrent fashion working with the same counselor that facilitates their group.
The Plus group is for those individuals that need more support than what their group provides in order to abstain from substance use. (All clients needing intensive outpatient attend this group). This group is designed to help individuals apply the skills they are learning in group to their daily lives. It is also on Thursday so the youth can prepare for the weekend and create plans that do not involve substance use or situations that trigger substance use. This group has a 4 to 1 ratio typically so the counselor and youth can work more intensively together.
Our parent support group is held every Thursday from 6-7 and is a drop-in group for parents who have a youth in treatment. This group is designed to give parents and guardians information about what their youth is doing in treatment, give them a place to talk about their parenting struggles and frustrations and to provide them with information that will help their child. We expect that parents will attend at least three of these groups during the time their child is in treatment.
All treatment is individually tailored to the needs of the youth we are serving. Therefore, there is no set duration for treatment. Youth complete treatment when they have demonstrated the ability to abstain from alcohol and other drugs for at least 10 consecutive weeks while also making positive changes in their life. We do not consider abstinence to be the sole marker for successful completion because if the young person does not make other changes in their life then the likelihood for a return to use greatly increases.
KYFS offers a variety of payment options for treatment. For substance abuse and co-occurring treatment we accept Medicaid (Provider One), some private insurances and sliding scale. For those without insurance, the Division of Behavioral Health and Recovery provides funding depending upon your income. When you call to set up an appointment we can discuss your options with you.
Dennis Ballinger, LMFT, CDP
|Supervisor - Assessment Coordinator
Jayne Pelger, LMHC, CDP
|Steady Ground and Plus Counselor
Ashley Spreda, M.S.W., CDP
|Supervisor - Moving Forward and Parent Support Group Counselor
Michael McCormick, CDP
|Gain Assessment Lead
Karena Schlatter, CDPT
|Taking Charge and Plus Counselor
Najja Morris, CDPT
|Steady Ground and Parent Support Group Counselor
Karen Craig, M.A., CDPT
|Back on Track Counselor
Wendy Naiman, MA
Kent Youth and Family Services
232 Second Avenue S. Suite 201
Kent, WA 98032