Kissimmee Youth Academy

Kissimmee Youth Academy serves 24 males between the ages of 14 and 21 in a secure residential program which provides mental health overlay services (MHOS), co-located with a secure residential commitment program serving 47 males, ages 14-19, providing services for boys who meet criteria for borderline developmental disability (BDD) services or Developmental Disability (DD) services. BDD youth typically have a full-scale IQ 70-79, while DD youth IQ 69 and under (typically 40-69), where the youth’s IQ and functional limitations have been documented by a formal psychological evaluation completed within the last twelve months. Services are provided 24 hours per day, seven days per week.

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Program services include 24 slots with mental health overlay service needs, and 47 slots with BDD or DD services. The program is one building with administration, classrooms, two multipurpose areas, cafeteria, separate wings with youth dorms for the secure MHOS youth and the non-secure BDD/DD youth (the secure and non-secure populations do not mix) with individual units limited to 16 youth each, and outdoor recreation space.

The program provides individualized mental health, substance abuse, and developmental disability 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 (9-12 months) 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.

Kissimmee Youth Academy MHOS and BDD/DD provides clinical/treatment services including the skills-based Skillstreaming the Adolescent, and Impact of Crime (a restorative justice, victim impact curriculum), as well as gender-specific programming. 

Additionally, on both living units (MHOS and BDD/DD) individual and family counseling is provided to all youth. Medical/health services are provided by on-site nursing as well as a contracted physician and psychiatrist. Osceola Regional Medical Center is used for all off-site medical treatment at Kissimmee 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 canteen. Input on incentives is provided by the Youth Advisory Board. 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. A staff to youth ratio of 1:5 is required for off-site activities.

Kissimmee Youth Academy is a Type 2 program offering English, Math, Science, Social Studies, and one elective course. The elective course is typically used to provide additional reading assistance to needy students or vocational training. 

Education and vocational services are provided through the Osceola County School District.  In addition to traditional, direct instruction, the education staff uses the PLATO lab as an online credit recovery option in appropriate cases for youth in the program.

This program serves as a GED® test site. 

Kissimmee Youth AcademyKissimmee Youth Academy maintains 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.

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