Program services include 48 slots with mental health overlay service needs, and 48 slots with specialized juvenile sex offender services. The program is one building with administration, classrooms, multipurpose areas, cafeteria, separate wings with youth dorms for the maximum-risk MHOS youth and the maximum-risk and secure youth receiving JSO services with individual units limited to 16 youth each, and outdoor recreation space.
The program provides individualized mental health, substance abuse, and specialized juvenile sex offender treatment services using a trauma-informed approach. Youth participate in individual, family, and group therapy sessions, social and life skills training, victim impact awareness and restorative justice programming. The length of stay for youth in the secure setting receiving specialized juvenile sex offender treatment is (12-18 months). The length of stay for youth in the maximum-risk MHOS setting as well as youth in the maximum-risk setting receiving specialized JSO treatment is (18-36 months). The length of stay depends on the youth’s assessed risk to reoffend and the progress the youth has made in the program toward reducing criminogenic needs and risk factors, addressing the youth’s treatment needs, and increasing the youth’s protective factors. The anticipated average length of stay depends on the youth’s pace of success in completing the individualized treatment plan and goals. The program’ goal is to equip youth for successful reintegration into the community to live productive, prosocial, and crime-free lives.
Everglades Youth Academy MHOS and JSO provides clinical/treatment services including the skills-based Skillstreaming the Adolescent, Pathways (a curriculum for adjudicated youth to treat a variety of sexual problems) and Impact of Crime (a restorative justice, victim impact curriculum), as well as gender-specific programming. Additionally, both programs (MHOS and JSO) offer individual and family counseling to all youth. Medical/health services are provided by onsite nursing as well as a contracted physician, psychiatrist, dentist, behavior analyst and psychologist (if necessary). Raulerson Hospital is used for all off-site medical treatment at Everglades Youth Academy.
Individuals are provided breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks daily, which are managed by a licensed dietician, with special medical diets and religious diets provided as needed. Youth receive nightly and monthly incentive activities and Point Store. Input on incentives is provided by the Student Council.
The facility is required by contract to maintain a 1:8 ratio of staff to youth during the day and evening and a 1:10 asleep ratio.
Everglades Youth Academy is a Type 3 program offering English, Math, Science, Social Studies, and Reading. Career and technical opportunities include CPR, First Aid & AED, and Home Builders Institute (HBI) pre-apprenticeship program in construction trades. Education and vocational services are provided by Youth Opportunity through an agreement with the Okeechobee County School District. This program serves as a GED® test site. Eligible youth will have the incredible opportunity to take college courses paid for by the Youth Opportunity Foundation whenever funds are available.
Everglades Youth Academy will maintain CARF Accreditation.
Youth served have been adjudicated delinquent by the Court and committed to the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice. The program is contracted through the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice; no additional fees are required from youth/families or insurance providers.