The Kinderhof Home, in Columbia County, is located in Valatie, New York, about 15 min. southeast of Albany and serves females only.
First opened in 1983, this home provides a 24-hour staff supervised and structured treatment milieu for females between the ages of 12 and 21 whose personal, social, developmental, or family situations preclude them from living at home or in a less restrictive setting.
The Kinderhof Group Home is located in Valatie, New York, a small town 15 minutes southeast of Albany. The farmhouse-style home sits on approx. eight acres and features a large community gathering room, dining room, meeting room, kitchen, and laundry room on the first floor. The second floor includes five bedrooms and three bathrooms for the youths.
Our youth attend the Ichabod Crane Central School District located three miles away in the village of Valatie (pronounced "Va-LAY-sha"). We encourage our youth to become involved in extra-curricular activities at school such as sports and clubs; to perform volunteer work in the community; and to attain employment locally. Some of our group home’s residents who have completed high school have attended the Columbia-Greene Community College, but they can attend any local college or trade school.
School days start early with all youths being up by 6 am. After breakfast they attend a "Community Meeting", where they discuss the day's plans before heading to school. After returning from school, they have another Community Meeting to discuss the day's events, followed by snack, group, and some free time before dinner. After dinner the youths complete their chores and participate in study hour. We try to get out in the community once or twice during the school week, but most trips happen on non-school days. Weekends are typically when we are able to schedule longer activities and individualize according to interest.
The Group Home Treatment Team aids in the cultural, clinical, recreational, and educational development of each youth by implementing the Berkshire Model of Care and Treatment (BMCT). This model builds on each youth’s strengths, using "teachable moments" throughout the day to reinforce their positive behaviors. In addition the Group Home is implementing the Sanctuary Model, which is treatment intervention-based on the tenets of trauma theory and addresses the ways in which trauma, adversity, and chronic stress influence individual behavior. Sanctuary is based on the idea that healing from trauma, stress, and adversity requires creating an environment that promotes healing.
Staff members at the group home, as well as people from the community, facilitate group counseling for the youth five times a week. Topics include: Orientation and Discharge groups; Independent Living Skills; Life Skills training, which promotes health and personal development; Social Skills; Anger Management; Pregnancy Prevention / HIV Education; Loss, Grief, and Bereavement; and Learning How to Negotiate. Planned Parenthood from the community presents a three-part series to further educate the youth.
In addition to the Direct Care Group Home Counselors, our staff consists of a Clinical Coordinator and a Coordinator of House Management. The Clinical Coordinator counsels the youth and their families. The Coordinator of House Management oversees the youth in program by supervising the Group Home Counselors, all of whom are dedicated to excellence in the field of child and family welfare.
We provide academic tutoring services in the group home five days a week during the school year to assist our residents in meeting their educational goals. We also conduct a reading literacy program (now in its third year), which meets in small groups each week for 10 - 15 weeks during the latter half of the school year. The program provides supplemental instruction to the youths to further develop an interest in literature and hone in on their comprehension skills. In collaboration with outside service providers and our community, these two services help to provide our youth with the tools and support they require to experience academic success.
Our residents participate in educational day trips throughout New York State, including visiting museums and places of historical interest such as NYS Museum, Fort Ticonderoga, Howe Caverns, Schenectady Planetarium, Lindenwald Historic Site, Olana Historic Site, American Museum of Natural History in NYC, Bronx Zoo, and The Wild Center in Tupper Lake.
Two new and exciting educational in-house programs are being introduced this year: “VEGE” (Vegetable and Ecological Gardening Project), is a hands-on environmentally friendly horticultural program. The youths will help create an organic vegetable garden consisting of raised beds and a compost bin. They will learn the basics of raising food for themselves and, through hands-on activities, they will learn about botany and plant propagation, soil science and composting, plant lore, and history. Youths and Staff working together will actively enter the living cycle by planting seeds, cultivating growing plants, harvesting the crops, preparing the food, and learning about proper food storage. “STARS”, (Students, Telescopes and Researching Space) will allow the youths to learn about our sun, solar system, stars and planets, meteorites, space exploration, and astronomical instruments by exploring the universe through the lens of a telescope as it relates to Earth Science, Environmental Science, Physics, and Aviation.
The home's ample lawn allows our youth to engage in organized games such as basketball, soccer, and badmitten. The YMCA is utilized as well where the youths can swim, work out, play basketball and swim. There are two local parks within walking distance. In the summer, we go to Taghkanic State Park on a regular basis for swimming and cooking outdoors.
Our youth, along with the Staff, participate in community wide and group home property clean up activities. We stress taking pride in your home away from home and the community in which you live. Youths are involved in local volunteer projects and are learning the importance of “giving back”.
In an effort to integrate the community and programming, we encourage the youths to become involved in school sports and to participate in clubs. This enables the youths time to socialize with their peers while demonstrating commitment and learning to work cohesively with others. Youth are encouraged to get jobs in the community and many have been involved in the Youth Employment Program during the summer months.
Kinderhof Group Home
3433 Rt. 203
Valatie, NY 12184
Tel (518) 758-1230
Fax (518) 758-7409