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What We Do

Group Life Services
Medical Services
Family Involvement
Social Work Services
Educational Services
Clinical Services
Quality Control Department
Life Skills / Public Relations Department
Youth Ministry Department

Group Life Services   Back to Menu/Top

Youth Care staff are responsible for providing all activities of daily living including fostering a caring living environment, nurturance, and emotional support to all clients.  All of our facilities are staffed 24/7 with trained staff. Youth Care staff is also attentive to each client's special needs and are responsible for helping each client adjust to a new environment.  The staff fosters growth and development in the context of a structured daily routine helping the client assume responsibility appropriate to age level and skill.  Group Life unit managers and their staff are integral members of St. Vincent’s Team and they provide the implementation of the level system. Group Life Managers and staff are informed of pending intakes, assist in the selection of units on which clients are placed, provide transportation, and are members of the Core team.

Ms. Wanda at St. Joachim Hall
Ms. Wanda at St. Joachim Hall

Food: All menus, every day, are approved by the Catholic Social Services Nutritional Development Department.  St. Vincent Homes (SVH) cooks are certified in Food Safety and Sanitation by the City of Philadelphia. Breakfast, lunch, dinner and regular snacks are offered daily and at set times.  Menus are posted in advance for youths to read. If a youth does not like what is being served, they will be offered an alternative. Nutritional development office personnel are certified dietitians and assist St. Vincent's in ensuring that all meals meet or exceed national food standards. In addition, SVH staff will accommodate all cultural, ethnic, and religious variations as long as they do not conflict with meeting nutritional standards.

Clothing: Group home program youths receive $150.00 seasonally for clothing purchases.  This is in accordance with DHS standards.

Personals: All youths receive $20.00 monthly for personal products of their choice. Youths, regardless of their purchases, will receive personal products such as: soap, shampoo, lotions, toothpaste, toothbrushes, and any other essential product deemed necessary for appropriate daily hygiene.

The Group Homes: Youths live in a community setting.  Each youth is provided with a private/semi-private bedroom setting with a bed, dresser for their clothing, nightstand, and lamp.   Many youths have their own rooms and there are no more than two youths to a bedroom in any facility. There is a recreation area for congregating with TV/DVD/CD and VCR.  There is a specific area for kitchen\food prep by our staff, and a dining area equipped with tables and chairs.  A private recreation area is also available outside in each facility that can be used for picnics, B-B Q, family visits, or just relaxing with nature. Separate areas for visiting and tutoring/homework are also provided in each facility.

Recreation: Recreational activities are planned daily.  Weekend and weekday evening recreational activities involve supervised off grounds activities such as movies, dinner out, miniature golf, mall shopping, parks, swimming, as well as trips to the library, museums, and Phillies, Sixers and Eagles games. Physical exercise nights are also fun events for our youths.

Transportation is provided to and from school, to medical facilities, and to other appointments as mandated.

Summer Camp:  Through a Title One grant, we are able to provide a six week summer program for students in each of our five group homes. Our summer program focuses on enrichment skills in Reading and Math using real world and hands on activities. For example, students hold book clubs and learn how to balance a checkbook. Residents also go on field trips around the city to learn about Philadelphia's rich history. Students create their own scrapbook as a memeory of their summer.

Medical Services
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All medical services are offered in accordance with state regulations. A full time employed, registered nurse oversees all medical services in all of St. Vincent’s programs.  The nurse and her staff oversee medication administration, physician's visits, making appointments for physical/medical evaluations, first aid, and emergency/crisis situations. The RN also maintains vital liaison relationships with other adjunct healthcare providers to insure a comprehensive array of necessary medical services. Local providers, hospitals, pharmacies, laboratories and others offer services in conjunction with individual client needs and insurances.  Social workers coordinate care between the group home program and external providers. For example, Albert Einstein and Fitzgerald Mercy Hospitals provide physician care and birthing/prenatal classes to our Maternity and Mother/Baby group home youths on a regular basis.

Family Involvement
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We realize that parents/guardians have the right to, as do their youths in placement, participate in the development of service plans and any other related plans pertaining to placement and permanency of their child.  Parents and their youths in placement have the right to informed consent. Furthermore, St. Vincent's social workers will facilitate regular visitation between youth and parent and maintain regular visual and verbal contact with parents on and off campus, as well as in their home. The social workers charge is to involve each parent in their youth's growth process and plan for permanency with family whenever possible. In an effort to further enlist parents in the planning for their youth's success, social workers invite parents to attend bi-weekly family therapy with their youth and a licensed therapist as well as our monthly Parent Support Group.  All services are provided at no charge to parents or youths.

Social Work Services   Back to Menu/Top

Each youth is assigned an agency social worker at intake. The social worker is the agency liaison between the youth and the family, DHS, and the family courts, as well as other essential service providers.  Social workers assist youths and their families in establishing goals that facilitate the youth reaching permanency in their lives.  Social workers coordinate and document all social, clinical, educational, vocational, and medical services, to ensure a productive placement.  All agency social workers receive a minimum of 40 hours training annually and are mandated to meet with all youths under their charge a minimum of one hour weekly, and more as necessary.  Specifically, social workers are expected to assist and facilitate the attendance of youth and family in the youths service planning.  This involves registering youths in school, attending report card conferences, notifying parents and facilitating social, medical, educational, clinical progress/involvement, attending court dates with youth, as well as participating in any other developments pertaining to the youth in care.

Educational Services   Back to Menu/Top

All youths will be registered for scholastic placement SVH facilitates and in some cases provides transportation regarding many school placements.  Social work staff will follow up with attending report card and IEP conferences, as well as monitor attendance to ensure optimal intervention.  SVH will make formal arrangements for all educational needs and will facilitate placement of clients, with their and their families consent, into the least restrictive environment appropriate to the client’s needs.  In facilitating this objective, SVH utilizes the St. Francis' Day Program as well as the Philadelphia School District for the majority of it placements. SVH also utilizes area GED, Twilight, and charter school for youths that present specialized, but non-special educational needs. Three on- grounds Learning Centers, staffed by trained tutors, provide educational, life skill testing, and daytime tutoring for youths before they are enrolled and attend public school.  In addition, tutoring, on an every night basis in each program, is made available to all youths.  The tutoring is through a Title 1 grant and all tutors meet Title 1 tutoring educational requirements.

Clinical Services   Back to Menu/Top

Clinical services are offered to all clients and include:

Individual Therapy:  Individual therapy is provided by a Masters level Clinical Therapist for all residents.  Clients also receive crisis counseling on an as needed basis, and all of the therapists have an open door policy.  Therapy is offered on a weekly basis.

Attachment Therapy: This new and unique therapy is offered to mothers and involves video taping their exchanges with their babies then playing back the tape and evaluating the exchange with their therapist present.

Family Therapy:  Family therapy is provided by a Masters level Clinical Therapist.  Many members of the immediate family are invited and transportation and translation services are provided if needed. Therapy is offered on a bi-weekly basis.

Psychiatry:  The psychiatrist oversees treatment planning, provides psychiatric evaluation and consultation, and provides medical management of medication while overseeing the provision of all medical treatment provided to each client.   All residents are evaluated on admission and thereafter as required.  Clients on medication are seen monthly for review or more often if needed, for medication adjustment. Psychiatric staff is available for crisis consultation and are on call.

Family Support Group: This group is offered monthly to all parents, which is overseen by our Masters level Psychologist.

Case Conferences:  Parents are invited to meet with our psychiatrist and youth as necessary and to assist in establishing a clinical plan for youths as needed.

Quality Control Department   Back to Menu/Top

Oversee the agency Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) program. Chair the CQI Committee and direct Sub-Committees and Focus Groups to successfully complete the CQI goals and objectives. Involve agency stakeholders on all levels encouraging them to be participatory in accomplishing the highest level of client care possible for St. Vincent Homes.

Life Skills / Public Relations Department   Back to Menu/Top

The Life Skills Department oversees the administration of the mandated Ansell Casey Life Skills Assessments as well as tracking the Learning Plans.

The Public Relations Department is responsible for:

  • editing and publishing of our newsletter, Ripples from the River, on a quarterly schedule
  • the maintenance of our Web site, ensuring that it is up to date

Youth Ministry Department   Back to Menu/Top

Our first and foremost goal in Youth Ministry is to spread the “Good News” that God loves us, to tap into the “innate spirituality” of each individual, and to build on that value, offering Ecumenical Services for Catholics, Protestants, and Muslims, and to help our residents reconnect with former religions (if desired) or to explore new opportunities. Our second and no less exigent goal is simply to “walk with” our residents, to meet them where they are and to support them in their spiritual choices. One-on-one visits and spiritual groups allow our residents to voice concerns and ask questions as they journey on their “God-quest.”

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Main Office:
St. Vincent Homes
1509 Church Street • Philadelphia, PA 19124
phone 215-992-5402 • fax