The Idaho nonprofit said in a news release that the new 64-bed facility is the first of its kind in Idaho and marks a significant advancement in the support and services available to the state’s most vulnerable youth. A celebration will be held Thursday at the residential center on the Hands of Promise Campus, 28371 El Paso Road, Caldwell.
“Until now, hundreds of Idaho children have been sent out of state every year to get the care they need,” said Idaho Youth Ranch CEO Scott Curtis in the release. “When kids are sent away, it pulls them away from their families and support systems and creates compound trauma.
“The research shows that those factors limit their ability to heal and move forward. The new Residential Center for Healing & Resilience will keep our kids here at home where their families can be part of the healing process.”
The result of years of planning and research, the center will provide 24-hour nursing, psychiatric care, a variety of therapies, and year-round schooling for over 100 Idaho kids, aged 11-17 each year, starting Aug. 15, 2023, according to the release.
The new facility will employ over 110 people when it is fully up and running.
Executive Director Deborah Imbrogno underscored the importance of such a center in Idaho.
“To do the family work, the youth need to be here where their families can be involved,” she said in the release. “That’s where the magic happens when we’re working with the families as partners, and they’re present and engaged.”
The Residential Center for Healing & Resilience features 64 individual bedrooms, a welcome center, a year-round charter school, a dining hall with commercial and training kitchens, a therapy and wellness building, and recreation hall.
“These are children coming from varied backgrounds, many having experienced significant trauma,” said residential center medical director Dr. Spencer Merrick in the release. “Their needs require a level of support that goes beyond routine therapy. This facility has been designed from the ground up to meet the unique needs of the kids. Every aspect of care from the therapies to the food has been considered to give youth the best chance for long-term success.”
Idaho Youth Ranch said this new facility is a natural extension of their mission to serve vulnerable youth and families.
“In 1953, Idaho Youth Ranch started as a dream by our founders, James and Ruby Carey Crowe, of providing kids with a place to heal away from the rest of the world,” Curtis said. “Now, 70 years later, we are seeing that dream continue to be realized. We know more now than we did in 1953, but the mission has stayed the same. We are providing Idaho’s most vulnerable youth the care they need to grow, heal, and thrive.
“The residential center will join our other programs, including Hays Shelter Home in Boise, outpatient counseling, telemental health services, workforce development, adoption services, equine-assisted therapy, and thrift operations, which currently operate in over 30 locations statewide with a dedicated staff team of over 450 employees.”
In June of 2020, Idaho Youth Ranch began raising funds for the Residential Center. Despite the challenges of the pandemic, Idaho Youth Ranch raised $35 million mostly from private donors, local businesses, and foundations as well as a grant from the Idaho Department of Health & Welfare.