Last summer, a scared and scarred 12 year old girl arrived at the cottage directly from Seattle Children’s inpatient program. “Lisa” stayed five weeks as she “stepped down” from a hospital environment, ensuring safety for both herself and her family. Cottage Behavioral Specialist staff implemented her individualized behavioral treatment plan developed by Ryther’s psychiatric, psychological, Cottage and therapy team. Medications were monitored and modified, while specific treatment interventions were modeled by staff for her parents for continuity and success when Lisa returned home.
While Ryther’s inpatient program predominantly serves children who are in the custody of the State, our cottages admit children outside this referral source who desperately need a structured, safe, therapeutic and holistic approach to help them succeed in their families. Like some of the children who come to Ryther for a short stay, Lisa had been adopted and had experienced much of the same abuse and neglect that children referred by the State experience. Other children admitted for short stays may be exhibiting behaviors that are unsafe towards themselves or their families for reasons that may or may not be known. Lisa’s stay at Ryther was authorized and paid for through the family’s health insurance. More insurance companies are realizing that Ryther can yield both positive health outcomes and cost savings in the short and long-term. We are now helping more children and families in our community who have nowhere else to turn. Lisa and her family now work with their Ryther outpatient psychiatrist and therapist for continued support.