Press Release - February 24, 2014

Contact:  Andrea Wojcik
302-633-2501 or 985-1330 (c)

Juvenile Facilities Earn National Re-Accreditation

WILMINGTON – Cabinet Secretary Jennifer Ranji of the Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their Families announced today that three Level V secure-care facilities: New Castle County Detention Center, The Marion William Stevenson House Detention Center (Milford), and Ferris School for Boys (Greenville) have earned  a three-year accreditation with the American Correctional Association (ACA), a nationally recognized organization that sets standards criteria for adult and juvenile correctional facilities.  These facilities have been participating in ACA since 1988 and these are the highest scores attained during that time.

The detention facilities serve pre-adjudicated youth in Delaware.  These facilities provide safe, secure, residential environments for detained youth while they receive a program of education and professional counseling.  Ferris School for Boys serves post-adjudicated males and provides a structured learning environment that integrates all elements of rehabilitation: education, skill development, and therapeutic clinical programs. Throughout the youth’s stay, treatment staff maintain contact with the family to assist with a successful family reunification.

“I am proud to announce that all three facilities were found to be in compliance with 100% of the mandatory standards and over 99% of the non-mandatory standards,” said Secretary Ranji.  “This was a rigorous process that reviewed compliance with 394 standards, and all three of the facilities received their highest scores ever.  That outcome could not have been achieved without teamwork within the Department.” 

In addition to ACA Accreditation, the Division of Youth Rehabilitative Services (DYRS) Level IV Residential Cottages program participates in the CJCA PbS Learning Institute’s Community-based Standards, the only national standard process for residential treatment programs.  The goal is to establish and sustain systems for continuous improvement and accountability.  The standards address the areas of safety, mental health, programming, order, justice, health, reintegration, and security.  Measurement consists of monthly data snapshots across each of the standards, quarterly record reviews, and individual surveys for youth, families, and all staff who have direct contact with the youth in care. 

“Reports are generated after the reporting period and are utilized to develop improvement strategies with the Cottage team,” said Director Nancy Dietz.  “It is my goal to achieve facility and agency accountability and effectiveness by ensuring safe and healthy cultures within the facilities, supporting better outcomes for youth and their families, increasing communication with youth and their families, and developing personnel standards that enhance the professionalism, effectiveness, and job satisfaction of the program staff.”

The Children’s Department provides services to children who have been abused, neglected, are dependent, have mental health or substance problems, have been adjudicated delinquent by the Courts, as well as prevention services targeted toward all youth. For more information, please visit www.kids.delaware.gov .