The Delaware Children’s Department, Division of Youth Rehabilitative Services was recently honored with the prestigious Barbara Allen-Hagen Award for improving the conditions of confinement and the quality of life for youths in secure placements.
The award is given in three categories: juvenile correction facilities, detention/assessment centers, and community residential programs, which are judged on exemplary commitment to performance-based standards to best serve youths, families and staff. One winner in each category was selected and honored at the Council of Juvenile Correctional Administrators and Performance-based Standards Awards Night in Boston Aug. 2.
Stevenson House Detention Center in Milford was selected as the winner in the detention/assessment center category for effectively reducing confinement by modifying the behavior management system in the facility. System improvements at Stevenson House have reduced the use of isolation from an average of 131 per month in 2017 to 11 per month in 2019.
“Being recognized nationally for the work the Division of Youth Rehabilitative Services does every day to improve the lives of youth in our care is exciting and validates that we are on the right track in helping these adolescents and their families achieve better outcomes. Superintendent Kenney and her team at Stevenson House have done outstanding work to change the culture of the facility so that it benefits not only the youth we serve, but also our staff,” said Josette Manning, cabinet secretary of the Department of Services for Children, Youth & Their Families.
“Stevenson House is honored to accept the Barbara Allen-Hagen Award,” said Superintendent Katie Kenney. “The entire staff should be commended for the hard work that has been put forth to improve our facility. We recognize that the changes we have made and continue to put in place were huge shifts in how we operated on a daily basis; however, we have seen the positive results and will continue to move forward.”
Ferris School for Boys was also honored for winning the group performance category of the Kids Got Talent contest. The competition had over 62 submissions from facilities across the nation. The Ferris School entry, an original music video titled “What You Know,” was fully written and produced by students Jamir Goldsborough, Isiah Lecompte and Zyaire Martinez. The winning video was created through a new music program initiative at Ferris School that was developed by supervisors Richard Booker and Joshua Fields. “This was an amazing opportunity for our students,” said John Stevenson, director of the Division of Youth Rehabilitative Services. “We are very proud of their accomplishment in winning this national talent contest and that their hard work has been noticed.”