by Cori Hilsgen
The Catholic Charities St. Cloud Children’s Home will no longer provide mental-health residential treatment services for children but plans to expand its day-treatment program.
Children who receive services will no longer live at the site but will instead go home to their families in the evening.
The programming transition will begin immediately. The first phase is expected to take about two months and includes discharging youth who will complete the program soon and helping other residents find new program options.
“This decision is intended to increase the focus on community-based mental health services,” said Steve Pareja, Catholic Charities executive director in a media release. “Our programs have provided exceptional care to youth with mental health needs, but over time, the demand for services has shifted from residential services to day services.”
He said during the past few years the organization has seen a trend of decreased referrals for residential services and an increase in request for day services. The program change will allow the organization to serve more children in the area.
According to its website, the organization’s staff works with children and their families to help children function more successfully in their homes, schools and community environments. Family involvement is considered essential to a child’s success, and a child’s success is essential to a happy and health family. The program’s services maintain evidence-based and strength-based strategies and philosophies.
The Children’s Home Campus has provided day services for several years. About 60 children currently attend programs such as Catholic Charities Young Learners, Youth Learning Center and Day Treatment Programs and Riverwoods School, operated in cooperation with St. Cloud School District 742.
The Children’s Home, which began as an orphanage, has been providing care to children for more than 90 years.
The transition will affect more than 90 employees, some of whom will have a chance to apply for other positions within the organization.
Hilsgen is a contributing reporter for the Newsleaders. The central Minnesota native is a wife, mother and grandmother. She has a Bachelor's degree in Organizational Management and Communication from Concordia University – St. Paul, MN and enjoys learning about and sharing other people's stories through the pages of the Newsleaders.