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Diagnostic Program

Comprehensive Diagnostic Services in a Secure Environment

George Junior Republic’s Diagnostic Program offers each youth a comprehensive evaluation while providing him with a secure treatment environment. Diagnostic services include:

  • A complete psychiatric evaluation
  • Medical history including present physical needs
  • Drug and alcohol history
  • Psychological history
  • Educational history (identifying educational strengths and needs)
  • Social and behavioral history
  • Treatment recommendations that will provide for the youth’s needs as identified in the comprehensive evaluation

The entire treatment team contributes to the information used to assess and evaluate each youth. The final evaluation includes referrals to placements that will provide the youth with appropriate services.

Youth Served

  • Delinquent and dependent males, 8 to 18 years of age
  • Youth in need of exhaustive diagnostic services to determine mental health, as well as to determine the most appropriate treatment needs and/or placement needs within a staff-secured setting
  • Youth for whom placement options are not readily available due to the nature and/or severity of the emotional and behavioral difficulties presented
  • Youth who have been in multiple placements over a lengthy period with few positive results
  • Youth who are difficult to place due to the severity of their behavioral, emotional, and mental health issues


The Diagnostic facility is a staff secure facility, with alarmed egresses, which provides 24 hour supervision. The facility has 10 individual bedrooms to accommodate the separation of youth during evening and sleeping hours. It also consists of a spacious living-dining area, a kitchen, a conference room and office.

A Team Approach to Mental Health Treatment

The diagnostic evaluation process consists of a 45 to 90-day period utilized for behavioral observations, a compilation of an in depth social history, and thorough testing and interviews in multiple disciplines. At the time of each youth’s staffing, a comprehensive and individualized list of treatment objectives and goals is defined and appropriate placement recommendations are formulated.

The treatment team approach utilized in the Diagnostic Program includes the following:  master’s level therapist, campus director, psychiatrist, clinical psychologist, educational psychologist, Grove City Area School District teacher and teacher’s aide, drug and alcohol specialist, physician, and professional child care workers.  All members of the team provide assessments and collaborate to determine the best treatment course for each individual youth.

A behavior modification program is utilized within the facility in order to assist the youth to adjust to the structured, staff secure setting. A master’s level therapist provides individual counseling through outpatient services to assist the youth in addressing their dysfunctional behaviors and is integral in the development of the individual service plans for each youth.  Specialized therapy and interventions are also available by a master’s level therapist as recommended by the treatment team. The therapeutic milieu is provided daily by bachelor’s level staff. This milieu is based upon a behavioral motivation system for which pro-social incentive based system fosters positive changes within the youth and assists the youth in gaining control over his own behaviors.

Psychiatric evaluations are completed on each youth and psychiatric follow up is provided every 30 days.  Psychological testing is provided to each youth and includes but is not limited to the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI), Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children Revised (WISC-R), Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale Revised (WAIS-R).

Academic Services

All academic education is provided through the Grove City Area School District. Youth participate in a school program during the regular academic year as well as a six week summer school program. The educational program consists of a school district teacher who is certified in special education services and a teacher’s aide. The staff administers achievement tests to youth when they are initially placed in order to individualize their instruction to their level of functioning.  Assessments such as GMADE (math), GRADE (reading), Ansell Casey Life Skills, and Career Scope are completed in order to benchmark a youth’s ability.  The teacher is responsible for preparing an academic report for each youth’s staffing that reflects specific accomplishments in the classroom and recommendations for further academic study. Behavioral needs are delineated as they relate to educational process. Youth are referred for speech/language therapy services, as needed, during their stay in the diagnostic facility.

Recreational Services

Youth within the Diagnostic Program are offered recreational services across campus under the direct supervision of clinical staff. As with a majority of our residential programs, the Program Department develops and implements a wide range of supervised activities for youth within the Diagnostic Program.

Home Passes and Visitation

The Diagnostic Program welcomes family visitation and is prepared to offer room and board services, when necessary. Regular contact between youth and family members is promoted in terms of written correspondence and phone calls. Visits by immediate family members are available every weekend to promote family reunification and may include family therapy sessions. Visits are encouraged to occur on both Saturday and Sunday. George Junior Republic may assist each family in making visitation arrangements.  Due to the intensity of the Diagnostic Program, the severity of youth served and the short term evaluation period of the program, home passes are not permitted. If a youth is assessed and transitioned to one of George Junior Republic’s programs, a youth begins to earn home passes to promote family bonding and reunification.

Referrals and Discharge

When the diagnostic evaluation period of each youth is completed, an interdisciplinary staffing is held at which time each member of the team presents his/her behavioral observations and testing results. Under the guidance of the Diagnostic Center director, the results of the evaluations are discussed and a comprehensive list of treatment goals and objectives and placement recommendations are formulated into an effective treatment plan.  The completed diagnostic evaluation is then forwarded to the referral agency and/or court.  Attempts are made to locate suitable and cost efficient placements for each youth, with referrals made to the George Junior Republic Special Needs Program or General Residential Program, as appropriate.