Founded in 1998, AMIkids Virginia Wilderness is a residential care program that specializes in serving boys in the foster care system, many of whom have suffered through multiple failed placements. These boys are housed until permanency options are available, which include adoption, mentorship, appropriate foster care, or independent living.
In 2011, we opened AMIkids Virginia Wilderness Girls to be able to serve all kids that are failing out of the foster care system.
The kids at AMIkids Virginia Wilderness and AMIkids Virginia Wilderness Girls have had multiple failed foster care placements; on average fifteen but some as many as fifty. They have been difficult to place due to behavioral issues, legal charges, or have been runaways from previous foster placements. Many are academically challenged, have therapeutic needs, and often struggle with social and life skills. The combination of original behavioral issues compounded by inadequate and frequently changing home life leaves these kids struggling. Often these kids have been given up as "bad kids" surely destined for the juvenile system. The AMIkids Virginia Wilderness programs provide the positive nurturing home environment which they desperately need. The changes we've seen in these kids have been astounding.
Traditional methods of isolation and punishment for misbehavior are not suitable for kids in these circumstances. The AMIkids approach puts the kid's needs first and provide them guidance and opportunities many of them haven't had in the past. Many of our kids have run from previous foster placements so we put a direct focus on establishing trust with our kids. Our diverse, positive, and caring staff are able to reach our kids through relationships and by being positive role models, training our kids in trust building and integrity.
The AMIkids Virginia Wilderness programs use the evidence-based, research-driven AMIkids Personal Growth Model © in offering dynamic programs and comprehensive services to treat each kid's unique issues, primarily focusing on education, behavior modification, and treatment.
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