Girls Enhanced Residential Treatment Facility (GERTF)

Girls Enhanced Residential Treatment Facility (GERTF)

Our highly dedicated staff at this facility provide individualized treatment for Girls ages 12-18 who require enhanced Mental Health supports and Psychiatric care. This is a staff-secure 6-bed facility located in Erie, PA.

We provide a safe and therapeutic environment for children with mental health and behavior concerns to be guided on the path to success in the community and at home. We have an approach that allows the child and family to guide the type of therapeutic treatment and pace of the treatment. We focus on the whole person with individual, group, and family therapy. Our ability to work one-on-one with the child allows us to help develop prosocial skill that will be used in the community and interpersonal relationships. We give children and families hope and a plan for the future. Everyday our staff our thankful for the opportunity to guide children and families through what can be a very difficult transition.

A major program focus will be to address the trauma history and significant mental health needs of these adolescents. The intensity of the mental health treatment far exceeds what current RTFs are able to provide. In both approach and degree, an intensive staffing pattern will immerse each resident in a new world experience toward the development of a new self/world view. This will be accomplished through an integrated program with a focus on treatment for seriously emotionally disturbed adolescents. Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy in conjunction with weekly psychiatric time will be a cornerstone of the therapeutic process. The Girls Enhanced RTF program will also serve as a constant reminder of their need to connect to their broader community in ways that reinforce those positive qualities and will discourage attention paid to chronic inaccurate views of self. This treatment approach will provide the adolescent with small group and one-on-one opportunities to engage in therapy to process daily experiences that will lead to more adaptive thoughts, feelings and behavior.

Program History:

Prior to the establishment of Residential Treatment Facilities (RTFs), children and adolescents that were in need of intensive psychiatric care were placed in state hospital facilities. Due to the elimination of state hospital beds, residential psychiatric services have become community based.

In the fall of 2001, the Erie County Office of Mental Health and Mental Retardation through the Resource Collaborative identified over 24 Erie County adolescent males who during the previous 12 months did not have their needs met in traditional RTF settings. All of the adolescents were seriously emotionally disturbed and presented with difficult behaviors. These children were placed in numerous out-of-home settings without successful outcomes. The success with the male programs was so great that it was decided to identify females with same type of needs not being met by traditional RTFs. GERTF was created and now continues to meet their needs on a daily basis.

The identified population requires 24-hour supervision but are not in need of acute hospital-based psychiatric inpatient admission. These individuals may have failed in prior levels of care including traditional RTF or may be directly placed in the GERTF as referred by the County Interagency Team. This population has evidenced a history of psychiatric intervention that has proven unsuccessful and is indicative of a need for more intensive services.

Girls Enhanced Residential Treatment Facility is located in Erie, PA.

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Perseus House
Uses88¢ of every dollar
for program cost

Serving for51Yrs Our youth
and families

Over1400 Youth assisted
in the past
25 years

We are in this together, and together we move forward.
Dr. Nick Viglione, CEO