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Children’s Home to transition to expanded day treatment services

Trina Dietz
Communications Coordinator
(320) 650-1644
St. Cloud Children’s Home to transition to expanded day treatment services
Catholic Charities of the Diocese of St. Cloud today announced plans to expand the organization’s day services to children, allowing more children in Central Minnesota to receive benefit from the programs. The increased access will be achieved through a change in focus on how services are delivered on the St. Cloud Children’s Home campus.
The mental health services offered to kids at St. Cloud Children’s Home will transition from a residential-based model to a day services model. This means kids will no longer live on-campus; instead, they will go home to their families in the evening.  
“For more than 90 years, Catholic Charities St. Cloud Children’s Home has had a proud history of providing outstanding care to children,” said Steve Pareja, Executive Director of Catholic Charities. “From its founding as an orphanage to its present focus on youth with mental health needs, the Children’s Home has adapted its services many times to meet the needs of children of each generation. We intend to continue that history. ”
The phased transition will begin immediately. “This decision is intended to increase the focus on community-based mental health services,” said Pareja. “Our programs have provided exceptional care to youth with mental health needs; but over time, the demand for services has shifted from residential services to day services.  Over the past few years, we have seen a trend of decreased referrals for residential services while, at the same time, an increase in requests for day services.  This change allows us to respond to those needs and to serve more and more local kids.”
Day services have been available on the Children’s Home Campus for several years. Currently, about 60 children attend day programs on the campus, including Catholic Charities Young Learners, Youth Learning Center and Day Treatment Programs, as well as Riverwoods School, operated in cooperation with District 742.  Catholic Charities also operates a Day Treatment Program in Elk River.
The transition will mean an initial loss of jobs at the organization. About 95 employees are impacted, though Pareja points out that the organization currently has approximately 40 open positions in other programs. Additionally, the expansion of day services may also add other employment opportunities. “These are people who embrace Catholic Charities’ mission of serving others and we hope to retain as many as possible in other roles.”
The first phase of the transition should take about two months, and will include discharging youth who will soon complete their treatment, as well as supporting other residents in finding programs to ensure their future success.
“It is an honor to continue the rich history of the St. Cloud Children’s Home,” said Pareja. “Bishop Busch built it as a place to care for children, and it our intention to continue his work.”