As your teenager enrolls at Calo s/he will immediately begin participating in campus activity and socialization. A seasoned staff member will help your teen by giving them Calo attire and getting the new student set up with all the supplies s/he needs. The new student will then start participating in whatever event is on the daily schedule. The canines are such a constant part of what is going on that canine interaction may be the first thing your teen is involved in. Canine care, feeding, and outdoor time will come quite quickly.
Within minutes of entering the building the new student will start meeting the other students already enrolled at Calo. Initial friendships usually start to form right away. The seasoned staff member who gives your child initial supplies and checks him/her into the program will also answer questions and have a very informal conversation about some of what to expect at Calo. Much of the details of daily life will come from the student community. That socialization process is very organic and purposely left largely unstructured. Along with that unstructured integration the new student will be given a student handbook and he/she will be able to find most any detail about Calo and our program from that handbook. Within the first 24 hours the therapist for the new student will have had a few conversations with him/her and will begin the process of establishing the therapeutic relationship.
As you may be able to see, the whole introduction into Calo is relatively low key and certainly non-confrontational. Our students have had enough conflict in their lives and rarely need an in-your-face intervention to start their stay. We are more interested in the beginnings of creating trust of care and trust of control with new students.
The goal of the Calo environment or milieu is to provide a safe, nurturing, and supportive atmosphere favorable to healing and treatment and which eventually leads a student towards interdependence. Calo is able to create such an environment by maintaining a home-like place (one-building) instead of multiple buildings scattered around a large campus. The result is every Calo employee and student know one another so there are no strangers around campus.
Despite all being in one place, students move through their daily schedule in teams of nine or so same-gender peers. Each therapist has a team with a selected number of residential coaches (front-line staff) who work with each student. These coaches are then empowered to provide consistent Trust of Care and Trust of Control as they know the needs of each teen. As a result, each student is able to build more meaningful relationships with a handful of staff versus just superficial relationships with multiple employees. Teams allow students to rely on their peers in a positive and supportive way. Parents and family also benefit from teams by working with staff on a consistent basis instead of trying to communicate with dozens of folks.