Page 49 - Healthcare News Nov/Dec 2021
P. 49

  This apt message currently greets people at the entrance to Goodwin House.
Busy Schedule
Clients are referred to Goodwin House from many sources, she told HCN.
“It could be self-referral from the adolescent themselves, from teachers, schools, courts, the DYS system, the DCF system, or it can be from their own parents. Anyone can make a referral to Goodwin House. We accept all different types of insurance, and if we don’t accept your insurance, the biller of last resort pays — so DPH picks up cost, or DCF — so no kid is left behind and everyone is entitled to treatment.”
The house’s capacity is 15 residents, although it’s running under that during the pandemic. A typical weekday has clients attending Liberty Prep, then re- turning for a snack and ‘room time’ so they can settle down from the day.
“Some kids don’t like school; it can be traumatic, triggering, and bring a lot of anxiety, so we let them have a cool-off period of about 30 minutes,” Grimaldi explained.
That’s followed by a strict regimen: a group therapy session, recreational therapy, dinner, chores, another clinical group, maybe a local recovery meet- ing with Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anony- mous, then phone calls, down time, and bed.
The weekends are similar, with school replaced
by recreational activities in the community, such as bowling outings. That is, as long as they’re eligible to go. The program operates on a motivational ‘level’ system, and clients progress from orientation to level 5, with more privileges the higher they go.
“If you work the program, the program works for you,” Grimaldi said. “What you’re willing to put in is what you’ll take out of it.”
Often, the residents aren’t serious about the program for the first month, she noted. “I call it the honeymoon period, or the adjustment period. Often, the work doesn’t start until 35 or 40 days in, and a lot of times that’s when you see kids really struggle with themselves and their internal issues, and they’re ask- ing, ‘can I do this without substances, or can I not?’
“Sometimes we see kids have to return,” she added. “But a lot of times, those are the kids who are actually more successful. At first they didn’t get it, but they try it again, and it works for most of them.”
Goodwin House also encourages family engage- ment and involvement during the client’s stay, Grimaldi said. In fact, last month, all the families were invited to the house for Thanksgiving dinner, each family seated in a separate area so they could have a meaningful holiday together.
“A lot of times, a client will come to Goodwin House and will have a poor relationship with their parents. ‘Oh, my parents are mean because they
put me here. My parents don’t care about me.’ We hear that all the time. So we try to work on that family relationship. We rebuild that through family therapy as well as family engagement and involvement.”
By the time clients leave, Grimaldi and her team want them to have a sponsor, be able to work their recovery, and also to have success academically. The center’s after-care coordinator keeps in touch with clients for a month after they leave, helping connect them to outside resources they can call upon to support their continued recovery.
“I’ll give them my business card, and a lot of them call me,” she added. “They’re interested in what’s happening. Sometimes it’s the kid who had the worst behaviors who wants to call back and say thanks. The one who was 399 days sober, he had a lot of incidents while he was here, but he turned it around and did what he needed to do and realized his life was worth
Please see Goodwin, page 61
 If you work the program, the program works for
you. What you’re willing to put in is what you’ll take out of it.”
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