Residential Program – Frequently Asked Questions

These are frequently asked questions pertaining to our Adolescent Residential Addiction Treatment Program.
For admissions information please call (515) 233-4930

Is the program licensed and accredited?
It is important that any program and facility that you are considering is licensed and accredited. The strict accreditation requirement demand the highest quality of treatment. YSS is proud to be licensed by the state of Iowa and is accredited by CARF – a national organization that established guidelines and high standards for quality care. CARF (Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities) accreditation means that you can be assured that the care you receive meets or exceeds these standards. Choosing a CARF accredited programs gives you the assurance that the program has met consumer focused, state of the art international standards of performance.

How long is the program?
The average residential program stay in 90 days. Placement is based on primary residential criteria set forth by the
nationally-recognized American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM). We are not a one size fits all solution, each
client’s treatment program is different based on their individual needs. YSS has the flexibility to meet the needs of
each youth in treatment and connect follow-up services to ensure a smooth transition and continuum of care after
discharge. When hopeless becomes hopeful the YSS adolescent residential addiction treatment program works.

What are the other clients like?
The YSS Adolescent Residential Addiction Treatment Program is a high-quality, evidence-based treatment for
adolescents 12-18 who are struggling with addiction in a safe and secure homelike atmosphere. A unique aspect
of the adolescent substance abuse residential treatment program at YSS is our gender-responsive focus. Our
program focuses on co-occurring mental health and behavioral health treatment services with a focus on trauma informed care to help address issues that may accompany substance use.

This approach allows us to provide the support needed, in a manner that more specifically meets the needs of
Young men learn:
•Respectful behavior
•Impulse control
•Anger management skills
•How to make positive choices

Young women learn:
•Developing and strengthening coping skills
•Improving self-esteem and confidence
•Building healthy relationships
•Feeling honored and valued

What recovery services are available?
YSS offers residential treatment for adolescents struggling with substance abuse, with a focus on helping the entire
family and providing plans to support a successful recovery. Both our male and female Residential Treatment
Programs are highly structured, gender-responsive environments that promote abstinence as the only true path to
recovery. With highly-trained certified, licensed professionals serve on staff and review each participant’s
progress weekly. We offer a safe, secure, and gender responsive program to young men and women to help them
learn to make healthy decisions. Each week, more than 50 hours of therapeutic and skill development guidance
and support motivate the adolescents to develop skills that promote recovery. By integrating family involvement
into treatment, we increase the chances of positive outcomes by involving the whole family. Everyone is able to
heal together and strengthen family relationships. Psychiatric evaluation and medication management are
essential components of the program

What are the Program Campus Facilities like?
The YSS Adolescent Residential Addiction Treatment Program serves an adolescent population in need of
substance use treatment at separate male and female campuses. We have a Central Iowa Campus in Ames that
has separate facilities for both male and female clients and a North Iowa Campus for male clients only located in
Mason City. The facilities provide a safe and secure home-like atmosphere.

What are the Program Expectations?
The YSS Adolescent Residential Addiction Treatment Program strives to be learning environments and support
clients in the development of recovery, resiliency and wellness. Clients will abstain from all substances other than
those prescribed by a doctor. This is not limited to, but includes, nicotine and caffeine. We strive to create a
healthy and safe environment that includes:

  • Engagement
  • Partnership
  • Holistic approaches
  • Respect
  • Hope
  • Self-direction

When negative behaviors are excessive and several attempts to help the client change his/her behaviors do not
seem to work, a client and his/her counselor may develop a behavioral contract to specify the areas that need to
change immediately. If changes in the client’s behavior and/or attitude are not adequate, removal from the
facilities may occur. Parents and other department officials as needed will be notified of the contract and the
expectations for remaining in the program.

What is the Program Staff Composition?
All residential staff members are part of the treatment team which include administrative staff, admission staff,
and clinical staff including behavioral health therapists, and certified addiction counselors. The program staff
include awake night house managers, youth recovery specialists, youth advocates, and a number of dedicated
volunteers and interns. All therapeutic work is supervised by licensed professionals. Each individual client’s
progress is reviewed by the treatment team during a weekly supervision.

What are the Program School Educational Services?
Educational services are provided for all clients through a partnership with the local community school district
(Ames and Mason City) throughout the school year (August-May). A certified teacher oversees each client’s
educational plan. We strive to have open communication between the treatment programs and the home school
district to ensure academic success. The certified teacher has direct contact with the clients, Monday through
Friday, to develop an individualized educational plan and assist in earning educational credit.

It is dependent on the home school as to the educational plan for each client. The certified teacher will be in
contact and communication with teachers and administration at the client’s home school. The clients will use the
school district laptops to access school work, using technology such as PLATO. Some schools will also send
schoolwork, such as textbooks and assignments. The campus facility teacher will coordinate a plan with the home
school and once a client is transitioned, a report card will be issued to the home school documenting the specific
credits the client earned while at YSS.

What is the Program Confidentiality & HIPAA Policy?
Definition of confidentiality: one’s right to be assured of one’s privacy. Confidentiality will be respected by clients
and staff members.

Group therapy: information shared in group among residents will not be repeated outside the program.

  • Client’s identity and events will not be shared with anyone outside this program, unless a release is signed
    by the client.
  • All treatment staff members are mandatory reporters under Iowa law. They are mandated to report any suspicion of abuse/neglect of minors to Iowa Department of Human Services Child Protective Investigative Unit.

YSS has a policy about confidentiality rules and procedures that staff follow to keep private information safe. The policy is available to all clients/participants and/or parents/guardians at any time, when requested. HIPAA is a federal law that provides rights over health information and sets rules and limits on who can look at and receive health information. “HIPAA” stands for the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996.

What is the protocol on Family / Home Visits?
Visits are an important part of the overall program. It is important for clients to spend time with their family
members outside of the facility. The length of the off-campus visits gradually increases throughout a client’s
treatment program. All off-campus visits in the beginning of the program are shorter, such as two hours, four
hours and eight hours. As the client approaches discharge, the visits are much longer, usually 24 or 48 hours. Prior
to leaving the facility for an off-campus/home visit, the client and family members will start a “fire escape plan.”
Once the client and family members return to the facility, they will finish the plan. The “fire escape plan” helps the
client and family members to brainstorm coping skills to utilize if a problem occurs while away from the facility.

On Campus Family Visits – Sundays 12pm-5pm

  • Only those approved by the counseling staff are allowed during the visit.
  • Please do not bring food, candy, gum or drinks into the facility.
  • Leave all purses, backpacks and bags in your car or trunk.
  • No wireless, electronic or camera ready devices are allowed in the facility.
  • All visitors need to be sober and appropriate or they will be asked to leave the facility.

Off Campus/Home Visits

  • Visit times will be arranged with the counseling staff prior to the visit.
  • Please call if you will be late returning the child/family member to the facility.
  • When returning your child/family member, please report how the visit went, including any issues/conflicts
    or any medications missed.
  • You may call the facility at any time for advice, to report any issues or to seek assistance. Staff will work
    to assist you in resolving any issues.
  • Your child/family member should be supervised at all times.
  • Your child/family member should not be exposed to alcohol/drugs/tobacco on the visit.
  • Review with your child/family member any assignments given and return them to the facility.
  • Assist and encourage your child/family member to take all prescribed medications and return any unused
    to the facility.
  • Talk to your child/family about their progress, how you can support them, their intentions on being sober
    and any expectations for them when they return home upon competition of the program.

Do clients get to make Phone Calls?
In order for clients to adjust to the program, a phone call to an immediate family member or guardian will take
place the 7th day following admission. Calls are suggested not to exceed 10 minutes and will be supervised by a
staff member. Specific days of the week are set up with the parents/guardians to communicate with their child.
Clients are allowed to make calls to approved family members only. Clients may call their workers or attorneys
anytime during regular business hours. Phone calls will occur with an YSS staff member present to ensure the
phone call goes well and that the client does not become upset during the call. If a client becomes upset and
disrespectful during the call, she/he may be redirected to end the call. Clients can make / receive 4 phone calls
between Monday and Friday. Clients can earn two more calls as a reward for positive behavior.

  • Central Iowa Campus Phone Times:
    11:00am – 12:00pm or 5:30pm – 6:30pm or during any free time (force field)
  • North Iowa Campus Phone Times:
    8:00am-8:50am or 4:40pm-6:30pm or during any free time (force field)
  • Phone calls are limited to 10 minutes
  • No phone calls during groups or on Saturday and Sunday
  • Only approved contacts can be called

What policies are in place for safety?
All YSS grounds, buildings, and vehicles are nicotine free in order to promote the health and well-being of
clients/participants, their families and staff. Use of all nicotine products is prohibited from these areas. This includes
any tobacco, tobacco look-alikes, nicotine delivery devices, or non-FDA approved products used for cessation
purposes. All YSS events, trainings, and conferences are nicotine free. Use of all nicotine products that are not FDA
approved for tobacco cessation is prohibited from these areas. Quitline Iowa 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669)

All drugs, including alcohol, are not allowed on YSS grounds, buildings, or vehicles. If illegal substances are found
they will be turned over to appropriate law authorities. Prescription medications are allowed on YSS grounds and
buildings, according to policy, and are safely stored to minimize risk of misuse. Staff will share the medication policy
upon request.

Possession of firearms or other deadly weapons is prohibited in all YSS buildings, grounds, and vehicles. YSS staff,
volunteers, and others under contract with YSS shall safeguard all YSS clients with respect to acquisition,
ownership, possession or accessibility to guns, pistols, revolvers, ammunition or other deadly weapons. YSS
clients shall not be permitted possession of such weapons. No person affiliated with YSS shall sell, loan, give or
make available a shotgun, pistol, rifle or ammunition to a YSS client.

YSS conducts safety drills regularly in all licensed facilities including fire, natural disaster, utility failure, bomb
threat, threats of violence, and medical emergency drills. Please ask a staff member if you have any questions or
concerns regarding our safety drill procedures.

Program Information