The Appalachian Children’s Home (ACH) is a resident treatment facility located in Barbourville, Kentucky. Our county is Knox. ACH is nationally and internationally accredited by the Council on Quality in Leadership and is currently licensed by Office of Inspector General (OIG) to house and provide treatment for 56 male and female youth. To qualify for our program, the children must be between the ages of 10-18 years old and be committed to Kentucky’s Department of Community Based Services (DCBS).
ACH sits on a 158 acre campus with an indoor basketball gym, a pond to fish, running/walking trails, outside basketball and volley ball courts, a weight room with gym equipment, and a horse corral. Our female residents reside in a cottage-like environment and the male residents live in a dormitory-like setting. Each building is decorated with artwork and the kid’s own personal touches creating a pleasant atmosphere.
Our goal is to create a safe, warm environment conducive to meeting all mental health needs identified in the children we serve. We desire to foster emotional growth and stability in every child that we care for. We want to facilitate personal recovery for children in need and build resilience as to encourage a long, healthy, and fulfilling life.
Our counselors provide individual, group, family, play, and substance abuse therapy. They are very experienced in working with children and adolescents; along with all the different parts that make up a child’s family and social services. We offer evidence based treatment for a variety of issues including juvenile sexual offending. We also offer Independent Living classes; as well as, teaching the children we serve how to obtain and maintain gainful employment and manage money. Children also have the opportunity to participate in special activities as approved by their guardians; these include music class (guitar, piano, and drum lessons), horseback riding classes with a certified CHA (Certified Horsemanship Association) instructor, cooking classes, art classes, quilting/crocheting classes, Life Book classes and more.
Our treatment program at ACH lasts approximately eight months depending on the need of each individual. Our residents are expected to advance through a five phase system. We utilize a strength-based approach with the children in our care and work diligently with parents and prospective guardians in order to achieve successful permanency. We encourage everyone in the child’s treatment team to participate in monthly treatment meetings. In order to accommodate so many schedules, we can facilitate these meetings via conference calls as well.
ACH is proud to acknowledge our onsite school: Knox Appalachian School (KAS). Our school is a part of the Knox County School System and has two ‘Teacher of the Year’ recipients on staff. KAS has five certified teachers and a Title One Transition Coordinator. We also offer special education services by a certified P-12 special education teacher. KAS is one of the most technologically advanced schools in our area. The Novel Star curriculum we use allows students to work at their own pace using iPads and Chrome Books to recover credits they are behind on. Also, the low student to teacher ratio allows the students to enhance their academic performance and achieve their individual learning goals. ACH direct care staff are present in the school during the day to assist with resident supervision and behavioral interventions.
The Knox Appalachian School utilizes the Reading Plus Program. This state of the art program has proven to be effective in assisting students on improving their reading levels in a rather short period of time as compared to regular classroom instruction and special education services. We also partner with the Knox County Adult Education Center for GED classes for kids who will benefit from this school alternative. ACH also provides an evening study hall that allows residents to stay ahead of their studies.
ACH utilizes several community resources in order to meet the needs of the children we care for – we out-source for parenting classes, medical care, psychological testing, and psychiatric care. Our Medical Administrator; along with a detailed behavioral note from the therapist accompanies our residents to psychiatric appointments in order to discuss and offer the most up-to-date on information on each child to the doctor. We also have a local nurse practitioner who is on-call should any emergency arise with our residents. ACH also has an extension of our local health department stationed on our campus which provides a part-time RN exclusively for our residents. ACH offers transportation to and from all medical appointments, courts, and in some special cases, home visits.
At the Appalachian Children’s Home, we make our best effort to use a holistic approach in treatment of children. The opinions of the resident, case managers, counselors, direct care staff, educational providers, family, and any other service provider are heard and used in the treatment of children. Our staff is committed to striving for excellence in order to provide the best care possible for the youth we work with.